Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tarpon Fishing In The Cape Coral Canals

If you live on a saltwater canal in Cape Coral or Ft. Myers, you've probably got a lot of tarpon in your backyard these days.  If you do, then take a minute to remind yourself how lucky you are to live here.  After that go get a bucket of small pinfish and catch a few of these tarpon. 

My dad and I hit one of my favorite canals yesterday just before high tide and it was loaded with rolling juvenile tarpon.  My first pinfish that hit the water enjoyed a nice ten second swim before getting murdered by a 15 pounder.  It went on like that for the next hour until we called it quits to avoid chasing all the fish out of the canal. 

I tried the same spot the day before with a fly rod and got no reaction from the dozens of rolling fish, but then again I've never had much luck casting flies for canal dwelling tarpon.  Stick with small pinfish or the biggest shrimp you can find instead.  I rigged all my baits on 20 pound spinning rods with 3 feet of 30 pound flourocarbon for a leader, which worked just fine but was a little light.  You can bump both of those up by 10 pounds and probably land even more fish.  My hooks were 2/0 Owner Cutting Points which are the only ones I'll use for tarpon.  They're sharp as hell and they rust out quickly if you break one off, which happens frequently with fish around docks and pilings.  But that's all part of the fun.