How to catch baby tarpon in Canals or deeper waters

Catching a baby Tarpon in deep waters can get a bit frustrating. They roll all around you but don’t seem to eat anything you throw at them.

Even when you do get a bite they seem to unhook quite often since they jump so often. Not to mention they keyed in on small baits you can barely throw most of the time.

I am no expert but here is a method I have used to successfully hook and land baby tarpon with decent success rate.


The setup:

I am using Hobie Proangler 14. This allows me to get a little closer but boat will work fine depending how spooky they are.

The gear is light spinning rod with 10lb or so with 20-30lb leader. A 1/8th to 1/4 oz jig head depending how deep they are. The lure is a small swim tail soft plastic. It needs to wiggle in the back to entice the eat. Though I have caught them on small plugs the hook ratio is much lower.

In the video I’m fishing in about about 10′ of water so I need to let my lure sink.

I wait for the fish to roll then make the cast. I then allow for the jig to sink depends on the depth of the water and how fast I got my lure there. This can vary from 2 to 6 seconds for me.

After it drops start a slow and steady retrieve. If you get an eat set the hook. I use a small wire jig head so it can penetrate the jaw easier.

Remember to use a loose drag. This accomplishes two things. The fish will jump less so better chance of the fish staying on. Also since you are using a small wire jig head it is less likely for your hook to bend.

Here is a video I put together to illustrate the entire process.