TARPON ON TOP
TARPON ON TOP
- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On March 4, 2019
This past week I joined Patrick Sebile and a few friends to fish with Captain Tim Simos in the swirling rips of the Fort Pierce, Florida Power Plant to try for tarpon up top.
Anyone who’s fished for tarpon understand it’s a battle you lose often. Thrashing, high flying head shakes throw hooks like they’re kid’s toys, usually leaving the angler with a slack line and no fish. Hundreds of Megalops Atlanticus were rainbowing out of the water, gasping breathfuls of air as we broke out some topwater tackle to tempt a strike.
Sebile tossed out an Ocean Born Flying Popper to chug across the water’s surface, while also slowing it down to utilize the unique design to swim it like a darting plug. It wasn’t long before a 60-pound poon whacked at it for a solid hookset. Going back to one of my favorite tarpon offerings, I tied on a SpoolTek 6-inch shad to drag just under the water surface and it didn’t take but three casts before I came tight.
The innovative design of the SpoolTek hook release system allows for the back half of the lure to pop off and a free-leader hook direct tight connection with the poon’s jaw, meaning they have a way tougher time throwing the hook with the leverage of the lure weight now gone. Both the 6 and 9-inch SpoolTek shads were harassed with reckless abandon from tarpon that ranged from 50 to 130 pounds.
A key to getting tarpon to strike in the top of the water column is to work the popper or shad slowly, giving the poon enough time to hone in on it while it opens its vacuous mouth to slurp the bait down. Both the Flying Popper and the SpoolTek shads could be cast into the swirling currents and almost stay stationary as the lure design nearly did all the work while the current passed over it making the lure wobble or shad tail swim.
Definitely up the ante with a beefy rod and reel size, as a 7-1/2 foot heavy action spinning rod matched with a 8000 class Shimano Saragosa reel spooled with 50-pound Power Pro will help you win the battle. We absolutely lit up the poons on our few hours out, releasing over a dozen and losing a few to their tenacious aerial antics. Tarpon on top is most assuredly a must-do for any adrenaline junkie angler.