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Indian River Tarpon

Catching Tarpon On The Indian River Lagoon

Saturday January 20, 2018

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

January - 2018 Fishing Report

The Banana River comes alive during the colder months of year and January is the peak season for deep hole trout, redfish and juvenile black drum. We've been fishing the deeper canals and slews with success during the cold fronts when the water is cold and also catching some great sized fish on the flats adjacent to these holes. Look for the Banana River to improve as the winter gets colder and the fish transition to their winter haunts in pursuit of cold, stable water. Look for mature fish to seek warmth on the shallow shorelines nearby.

Fishing Forecast

January - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Is it going to be an Indian Summer this January or possibly a deep freeze Polar Vortex? These are the questions that all fishing guides want to know. Depending on how this winter plays out with temperatures, winds and other conditions will dictate how our fishing will pan out in January. Unless the water is churned up by high winds, January will produce some of the cleanest and clearest water of the year in Central Florida as colder water kills of plankton life in the lagoons and mild northeast winds often push in clearer water in the ocean. Look for great inshore fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon and Northern end of the Indian River toward Titusville. If the winds and water are all frothed up it can be a crap shoot for fishing in almost every inshore locations and will shutdown all offshore fishing due to small craft warnings and safety warnings. However, between fronts, look for some of the best fishing of the year in January both inshore and offshore in Central Florida.

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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.
Telephone: 321-868-4953
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Cocoa Beach, FL
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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and 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.

You will not have a better fishing experience anywhere in Florida than with Capt. Richard and his wife Capt. Gina......These two have grown up fishing in the area and are privy to all the sweet fishing spots.....very family oriented and highly motivated to turn the average fishing trip into a exciting adventure packed with not only fish but great memories to share for a lifetime!......I highly recommend Lagooner Fishing Guides and can't wait to get out on the water again with Capt. Richard and introduce my grandson to the sport of fishing! smile emoticon Thanks again for all the good times on the water!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 10, 2015

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