Tarpon fishing..

Tarpon fishing..

What I REALLY ENJOY THE MOST is than every time it is different: fish can jump immediately.. or run 100 yards and jump , or run 200yards and stay there no jump or run again..... or no jump for one hour and then jump 8 times in a row ( Mr Guiton) or run to the boat, or stick to the bottom .. Bottom hook up..? a log.?. You go back ...slack line boat turn..3 mn past... Now the lure is under the boat.. You are certain this is Bottom.. You pull hard and then fish jump in your face. ( Hello Jeff Klassen )

Sometime I get mad on reading articles or book written by some Famous Tarpon Masters. They describe Tarpon behavior as somewhere standard.. Run and Jump.. That is why people ( lose so many Tarpon...) also i do not like articles it because the most interesting with tarpon is than there is no standard behavior.. The most attractive part is than we have no idea of what can happen.. this is probably the reason why after so many tarpon caught we still loves to go for them...

NOTE In this paragraph I talk of fishing with lures , not with Circle Hooks " it is difficult to set the hook as tarpon mouth is Paved like a stone... " correct but there are some wick points Sometime I wonder what exactly means set a hook specifically on a Tarpon.. Most of the time Anglers are using Nylon Mono Filament a lot of stretch whatever the brand ... Just make an experience tied to any fix point a 20lb Igfa Mono filament line... then walk 20 yards from this point line in hand .. block the drag then stretch the line walking back and count how many feet you can stretch the line..( Do that with Bimini knots till the line break ) Well some some people tell you set a hook by Lifting a rod 6 feet long ?... Correct eventual way to try to set a hook on a tarpon using a Nylon line is when fish is running so line in tension then strike shortly 2 or 3 times rod down on the side other way will be rod in hand using braided like when you feel the first attacks..

I insist with mono filament let it run...the point is in no way strike like crazy but feel the fish be in contact get progressive pressure before any action.. Then you can strike Rod down and on the side in reality you use the speed of the fish.. Easy to say. .but... Well practice always practice..

All this is effective in 90% of our fishing days on San Juan River and then you have these days when tarpon do not want to bite.. you can troll, Cast, Fly fish, Bottom, with live bait, change lures color etc nothing happen they will only eventually play with your lure.. Translation: You are let say trolling and Tarpon are all around ( I mean Hundreds of them ) and nothing happen, eventually from time to time line go whistle 2 second.. 10 mn one more time... nothing !! and so on meanwhile they are here all around.???. ... 1/2 h again... then whistle and immediate jump.. at least you saw this one...These tarpon do not grab the lure they only hit the line or push the lure a bit as a dog would do when he want to warm..,

This kind of situation is known from Tarpon Aficionados... Our SOLUTION... braided line , long medium heavy action rod .. good angler able to feel the attacks it will only be two or three little touch.. then immediate strike along the boat rod down parallel to Water level.. Rod down!!!

Tarpon Fishing favorite lures, most of them

For Tarpon or Snook fishing in the water of San Juan River in Nicaragua and Costa Rica I have a preference for Rapala Lures specifically for the Super Shad rap and the Floating magnum in size 11 and 14 . Almost any rapala colors may be good according to condition of the day

Notes & Reflexions upon Tarpon Fishing

1) IGFA world record

I have a lot of respect for IGFA who is making a fantastic job since so many years for all of us Sport fishing men... I am pleased to be a member of this institution...

I understand  than being the tenant of an IGFA world record may be very important for some angler.. even more for the fame of Fishing operation

But Problem is than to have a world record registered according to present IGFA rules it is necessary to kill the fish... 

Since 5 years than we are fishing Rio San Juan No Doubt we " beat " several world record for tarpon.. we caught a lot of fish of more than 150lb... many over 200lb we had fun and even been scared with these giant tarpon these one do not jump...1/3 of a body out and just shake... We enjoyed with Guests these catch on line from 12lb to 30lb.test....

We had several fish over 250lb and two close or over 300lb released to the boat.

These are estimated weight of fish.. We do not go wrong may be a few pounds.. matter of experience.. We also can calculate the weight with the length and taking the diameter around the geals..( This can be done quickly after quitting the lures , on the side of the boat ...before the final released...) Sometime we do that then estimation is more accurate

Also we had some accident with fish who were bleeding at the end or during the fight so they would have anyway died .. I report several weighed fish of more than 200lb and the biggest weighed in June 2003 253lb ( Augusto as a Guide ) , I have been told this is the Biggest tarpon ever caught in Central America..

Can any body tell me what is the USA record for Tarpon? I guess in Florida may be in Texas.. but how much? What are the State Record?

To be absolutely clear: At san Carlos Sport Fishing we really do not like the idea to Kill Tarpon. So how could we claim a Record? with the actual Igfa requirement it is impossible .Imagine take the pictures on each side, hang the fish , weighed it with a certified scale , take the measurement , aboard a 24 feet long boat... we would do all this process and then release them? Fish would died. Also it would be very very dangerous to do that as well for angler or guide. So sorry I have no Tarpon World record registered... The only eventual exception would eventually be if fish is Hooked inside , in the geals and bleeding then we may decide as fish would anyway died to summit the record... but would this be really SPORT FISHING?

I will never intentionally kill fish

Alexandre and Alain my two sons beat many time the kid ( under 10 ) IGFA tarpon world record.. both of them had their first tarpon when they were 7 years old. Nowadays Alex is at 180lb, Alain 127.. They only fish on light Tackles ( Max 20lb test ) and catch their fish in 15 till 30 minutes in absolute respect of IGFA regulations... May seem INCREDIBLE but sorry this is 100% true

Our actual ( 2005) Company records for TARPON are:

(Fish released these numbers are only Estimations..)

  • Children Boy IGFA World record record 90lb beaten many time
  • Children Girl IGFA World record record beaten ONE time
  • 12lb Men IGFA record 188lb beaten many time
  • 12lb women IGFA record beaten many time
  • All Tackle.. We report two fish released to the boat we estimate over 300lb


Since the middle of 2003 we like more and more to fish for tarpon on light line 20lb test and also on ultra light 12lb with much lighter Spinning and Bait casting reels and one piece IM7 graphite rods action Medium heavy and heavy This is extreme and Challenging fishing... We do not lost more fish on using these techniques


No doubt super fun with our Tarpon as you can feel the fish much better... with a bit of practice and for the experts you will be able to predict what fish will do in next seconds.. This is really for me the TOP in tarpon fishing as we do that using 12lb to 20 lb braided line...