Gary Finch Outdoors: Tarpon Fishing

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DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — This past week while visiting Destin, I had the chance to head out tarpon fishing with Capt. Pat Dineen of Flyliner Charters. Capt. Pat shared some of his tips and tackle with us.

Gary: What’s the main tackle that you use for tarpon?
Pat: I use 8 foot, heavy action, well fast action, heavy spinning rods, 30 pound braid and 7 OT circle hooks.  

The tarpon is a large and powerful king of inshore sport fishing. It can strip a reel full of drag and jump with acrobatic explosions. Knowing what to do for success is very important. 
You always want to be pulling the length of his body towards his tail.  That way the fish is always swimming against the drag and against the bend of the rod.  If you’re pulling sideways to the fish or up, you’re just, you’re not, the fish isn’t swimming against the pressure.  He’s swimming with the pressure, being slowly pulled towards you and it’s not wearing him out any.  And that’s the problem with going in the deep water is that they’ll come up, roll and go down 30 feet, and then you don’t know which way he’s facing and he’s not pulling against the pressure.  
He’s swimming to the left, you pull horizontally to the right.  He’s swimming to the right, you pull horizontally to the left.  Swimming dead away from you, just always want him pulling against the drag and against the bend of the rod.  When the fish goes to jump and starts to come out of the water, you immediately take some of the bend out of the rod by relieving pressure, you know, sticking your rod out, bowing to him is what people call it. And then as soon as the fish lands again, you get tight with him again.  Most fish are lost, on a jump without a bow. 
Hopefully some of these tips will help you next time you head out looking for some great catch and release action on the water.

Maybe you could use some of these tips while fishing in the Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament this Saturday, July 13th.  For more information go to  

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