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Indian River Tarpon

Catching Tarpon On The Indian River Lagoon

Saturday June 24, 2017

Shimmery scales and powerful fights are the trademarks of an Indian River tarpon when they're jumping while being hooked up. Tarpon are one of the most exciting species in Florida and almost always surprise anglers as their first few jumps are a fantastic display of power and determination.

The habits and whereabouts of tarpon are as varied as any fish species. When mature and weighing in at over 100 pounds are often found in the middle of the lagoon in large congregations in late summer. But juvenile tarpon can be seen rolling in ditches or small narrow tributaries feeding off the main lagoon system. All size tarpon can be a challenge and thrill for anglers to enjoy.

Tarpon are not considered edible and are strictly a gamefish for enjoyment. Florida requires a $50 permit to harvest and keep a tarpon, but rarely are tarpon kept anymore as taxidermist no longer need a skin to complete a lifelike replica of their fish. A simple photograph and measurements will suffice as a referrence for the painter.

The Indian River Lagoon is a great place to take a fishing trip whether in pursuit of a tarpon or other popular gamefish on Florida's east coast. Try your hand at flyfishing or spin casting for these mangificent jumping giants of their inshore saltwater playground near Kennedy Space Center and the Atlantic Ocean.

Tarpon have one single dorsal fin (the fin on the top) that extends into long filament. A tarpon's back is dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the side. Their color may vary and be brownish gold in estuarine waters. Tarpon have huge scales that are often kept as trophies by anglers and a large mouth that points upward.

Primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found. We find our larger tarpon off the beaches in the summer. They are often found rolling on the surface and gulping air in while lurking for food or taking it easy between feeding sessions.

Tarpon can often be found in brackish or freshwater near mangroves or in residential canals. Look for tarpon to show up almost anywhere on the lagoons and beaches in Florida, but tarpon "promise land" is found in the Florida Keys and other locations around Florida. While the Orlando, Cocoa Beach area is not as consistent for these gamefish as south Florida areas, we nevertheless we catch our share of tarpon in the Central Florida area when the timing is right and they're around. Tarpon tend to move into the Central Florida area and move out... The Florida Keys tends to hold them year around.

Remarks

Tarpon are slow growers and mature between 7 to 13 years of age. Spawning occurs between May and September when females may lay more than 12 million eggs each. Tarpon can tolerate wide range of salinity from fresh to very salty estuary waters. Juvenile tarpon are commonly found in fresh water and can breathe air at surface. Tarpon feed mainly on fish and large crustaceans.

Regulations

Requires $50 tarpon tag to possess or harvest and two fish possession limit.

State Record

243 lbs.

Indian River Lagoon Tarpon Charters

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 08 2016 12:22:52.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

June - 2017 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

June - 2017 Fishing Forecast

June of 2017 is looking to be a hot summer with hot fishing off of East Central Florida near Cocoa Beach. Orlando visitors should anticipate the warm weather and great fishing that coastal and offshore fishing provides in the warm Atlantic Ocean this time of year. Last year in 2016 we saw many tarpon exceeding 100 pounds caught off the Brevard County beaches along with a good amount of sharks, king mackerel and really big Jack Crevelle that kept things interesting. Looking forward to this year's forecast on the Space Coast remember that the coastal waters along the Atlantic seaboard and Ocean will probably be the most productive fishing during the month of June and as we look in to August the ocean will look to be the most inviting destination for anglers in the heat of the Central Florida Summer.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
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Cocoa Beach, FL
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Inshore Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Had a blast with Captain Richard too bad weather didn't cooperate he still put us on some fish.
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