Most people think that tarpon season is over after the spring when tarpon are done migrating and spawning. This can be farther from the truth.
The great thing about South Florida is that our weather is warm pretty much year round, except for your occasional cold front from December-February.
I will target tarpon almost every chance I can get especially when I’m fishing in Florida Bay/ Everglades National Park.
Tarpon are always around in the winter months but not always in shallow water. If the water temperatures drop past 70 degrees, chances are your not going to see many tarpon around in the shallows. They will move off to deeper water in channels, inlets, or deep in the backcountry of White water bay.
This December has been very warm boarding line hot and the tarpon fishing has been great on those perfect calm mornings in Florida Bay. Some of the best days I’ve had catching tarpon has December and you usually have these days all to yourself.
When the water temperatures start to cool down more in January and February, if conditions are right, I like to fish for them at night off Miami, Florida’s down town bridges and intercostal waters. This is when the shrimp start to run good at night and the tarpon will be feeding on them most of the night.
We target them on spinning tackle using live shrimp as well as artificial shrimp or lures. For you fly junkies, we also target them with fly tackle under the bridge lights and boat docks.
One of my favorite places to target tarpon in the winter months is in February deep in the Everglades back county. This is usually good when we get some warm conditions before or after a cold front for a few days and the conditions are just right.
When it all comes together and you’re at the right place at the right time, it can be a very magical experience.
If you’re in Miami and cant make it out during daylight hours, don’t forget about our nighttime tarpon fishery.
For my regulars and new customers that haven’t secured your dates for the spring tarpon migration, now is the time to do so.
Booking days in the spring for tarpon fly fishing there is a three-day minimum and a premium for prime time dates. Please call for availability.
-Capt. Raul Montoro