Tarpon: The Silver King of Tampa Bay

Is battling the silver king on your angling bucket list? If so, Aquatic Escapes tarpon fishing charters has you covered. Our Tampa Bay sport fishing excursions will take you to the heart of the action.

An Audience with the King

Tarpon has earned the name the silver king for their distinctive shiny silver scales. Many anglers consider the silver king one of the most sought-after fish in Tampa Bay. 

Tarpon may not be renowned for its flavor, but catching this fish is one of the most exhilarating sport fishing experiences you’ll ever have.

Long, fast runs and spectacular jumps contribute to the silver king’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest sport fish. Experienced anglers know tarpon for its stamina, and they can put up a fight that lasts anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.

While you might find it tempting to draw out the fight, you should end it as quickly as possible. Not only will this help ensure the tarpon’s survival, but it will also help avoid drawing in any nearby sharks.

No Small Fry

Tarpon typically range in size between 80 and 140 pounds, though they can reach upwards of 200 pounds. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida holds 29 world records for tarpon. However, the current all-tackle world record tarpon, weighing in at a whopping 286 pounds 9 ounces, was caught in Africa in March 2003.

In 2013, Florida might have had a chance to take that record. A group of anglers caught a tarpon measuring 96 inches long with a girth of 53 inches, estimated at over 300 pounds. At the time, the anglers didn’t realize they had a potential record-breaker and released the fish, making it impossible to submit for a world record.

Silver King Rules

If you want to attempt an International Game Fish Association record-breaking catch, you need a $50 harvest tag. Tarpon fishing is catch-and-release only. While there is no minimum size limit, all tarpon over 40 inches must stay in the water.

You must also follow these rules while fishing for tarpon in Florida:

  • Use hook and line only. Spearing, snagging, and snatch hooking are prohibited.
  • Use only single hooks, not treble hooks.
  • A dehooking tool is highly recommended.
  • Do not fish for tarpon off bridges or piers.
  • Do not fish where large, predatory sharks feed.

Best Time for Tarpon Fishing

We offer tarpon fishing charters from May through July during the height of the migration period. However, anglers have caught tarpon as early as March and as late as August.

Tampa Bay is one of the best places to find tarpon in an area world-renowned for its summer fishery. With our expertise at Aquatic Escapes and luck on your side, you can achieve multiple catches on our fishing charters.

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