Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Sunday, 17 June 2012 17:39

A Land Based Article

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When the rain falls here on Florida’s Space Coast, you know the fishing around the culverts and creek mouths will be good in the Intercoastal Waterway. The typical species show up: redfish, trout, ladyfish, black drum, and sometimes snook. However, every so often the “Silver King” will show his face - not the hundred pound size, but rather the baby version. In fact, this showing of baby tarpon has some in the science community questioning how and where these tarpon come from.

You see, for years it has been thought that tarpon head offshore to spawn, and that the eggs and larvae ride the tides back into the backwaters where they spend the next few years of their life. This idea doesn't sound too far-fetched for areas with access to the ocean, but the north end of the Indian River and the south end of the Mosquito Lagoon are far removed from any open inlet system. This begs the question of whether these fish breed inshore, much like the bull redfish in the Mosquito Lagoon. DNA data has been collected on these baby tarpon for a few years now by a few of the best tarpon fisherman in the area. The DNA samples are taken with the items provided in the free kits available directly from the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) or at local tackle shops. Once samples are taken, they are sent to the FWC-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for analysis and charting.

The little tarpon bite has been wide open these past few days with all the rain we have had, so I knew it was time to go looking for them. My favorite way to target them is with a fly rod. These pint-sized tarpon are just as aggressive as the hundred pound version, and will take a fly if it matches the size of the prey they are feeding on. I got to the first spot just at first light, and I wasn't disappointed. Everywhere I looked there were tarpon rolling - there must have been hundreds of them. On the first cast with the fly rod, I was rewarded with this amazing mini replica of a hundred pounder:

pic 1 a land based article

Once a DNA sample was taken, he was placed back into his nursery. A little while later I picked up another one also on fly:

pic 2 a land based article

My buddy Capt. Scott Rawson showed up with his brand new fly combo, in search of his first tarpon on fly. By this time, most of the fish had stopped rolling, so we moved to another area where I have found them in the past. Scott made a great cast in tight quarters, and got his first Tarpon:

pic 3 a land based article

pic 4 a land based article

I also ended up with a few more.

pic 5 a land based article

pic 6 a land based article

If you fish for tarpon of any size, please take the time to get a DNA sample and send it in for processing (instructions are in the package) so that future anglers may enjoy catching these amazing fish.

My fish came on a fly I call Trey's Mullet:

pic 7 a land based article

Read 9561 times Last modified on Friday, 14 September 2012 13:34
Charles Levi Jr

Charles "redfish chuck" is a life long fisherman located on Florida's Space Coast that at thirty-one years old he prides himself on being a well rounded angler. From freshwater to saltwater and open ocean fishing, Charles not only builds his own rods but he also ties his own flies. Charles is also a Pro Staff Member of Yakangler.com, Jackson Kayaks, Yeti coolers and Handler Fishing Supply.

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# imnohero 2012-09-05 09:16
That is so cool.
# lovestofish 2012-10-22 12:25
Cool article, you guys should keep these up to date, it's October! :cry:

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