Topwater Fishing For Juvenile Tarpon

Sunday, October 8, 2017

This afternoon seemed like a good time to head out to the river and do some tarpon fishing, so I grabbed my fly rod, a couple of boxes of flies and headed for the last place I caught some fish.  Or, at least had some hits.

Open flowing culverts are usually magnets for fish, so I headed to the same area where I lost several juvenile tarpon yesterday afternoon around some open culverts.

When I eased up to the spot, a fisherman was just preparing to leave so I asked him if he had caught anything.

He told me he had a couple of hits but could not hook anything.  Kind of like what happened to me yesterday at the same spot.

I took a couple of short videos of the fish rolling and dimpling on the surface until he left and then rigged up my fly rod with a heaver leader than I was using yesterday and tied on a dark patterned tarpon fly.

After a couple of casts, I briefly hooked into a small tarpon that flipped the fly after the first jump.  I was hoping today wouldn't be a repeat of yesterday but it was too early to make any rash judgements.

I spent the next half hour or so casting several fly patterns and missing three more tarpon.  I just could not get a solid hookup to save my life and after a while, I couldn't buy another strike either.

As I was thinking about tying on another pattern, a guy pulled up with a spinning rod and a gold spoon and asked me if I minded him fishing the area.

I had no problems with that, especially since the fish seemed to have developed lockjaw.


His name was Kirby Laneau, and we spent the next hour or so trying to catch the tarpon that were in the area on a variety of artificial baits.

I spent a lot of time on my cell phone trying to get a shot of him catching a fish but although he was willing,  the fish weren't so much.

He had a few strikes on his flies and after some time he switched to a popping bug, and finally a topwater frog colored Torpedo propeller bait that finally snagged a fish; below.


Kirby knew his way around a fly rod and we had a pleasant discussion on a variety of topics while trying to catch a fish.

I intermittently tried a gold spoon, a swim bait that I had a few hits on, and finally as dusk came upon us, a Chug Bug that I normally used for spotted sea trout and redfish along Peacocks Pocket Road, when it used to be open to vehicle traffic.

After Kirby hooked and landed his tarpon, I broke down and tied on the Chug Bug with only about a 20 inch piece of fluorocarbon leader between the lure and my 40 pound Power Pro main line.

I wasn't convinced that I would be able to catch anything with the short piece of leader but I didn't have time to tie on a longer piece.  It was getting dark.

I had three or four decent hits on the Chug Bug, but I still could not sink a hook into a fish.  I'm beginning to think I have some kind of  "fish hooking curse" or something.

Anyway, as we were casting the area, a large oversize snook jumped at least 6 feet into the air as it was chasing something for dinner.  The fish looked like it was between 3 to 4 feet long as it splashed back into the water.

As luck would have it, I couldn't get it on my cell phone however, I did compile these vids of this afternoons fishing excursion.


I really need to remember to bring along my Go Pro next time.

When the mosquitoes started to fatten up on the blood from my legs, I finally decided to call it a day and head back home.

I bid farewell to Kirby and took his pic before he left so I could post it here tonight.

Till next time,
Tight Lines and Bent Rods.