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Juvenile Tarpon Tactics Palm Coast/Flager Beach

Juvenile Tarpon

 

When you hear the word “Tarpon” the images that come to mind are the 100 plus pound Silver Kings leaping out of the water thrashing about trying to free themselves. Tarpon are not born as these massive strong fish that test our equipment and angling skills but are born as a small larvae that grow in the back water estuaries for the first few years of their lives till their big enough to join the migration. While maturing in the backwaters these “juveniles” can be caught on light tackle, although not tackle bruisers they will pull and display a nice aerial display like no other.

 

 

Fishing for juvenile tarpon is most affective through out the summer months although they inhabit our northeast coastal region year round. What separates tarpon from other species is its ability to live in low oxygenated waters that contributes to the tarpon “roll’. During summer months the warm waters and low oxygen during low light conditions get tarpon rolling and make it a sight fishing opportunity. It’s commonly said rolling tarpon are happy tarpon and for every tarpon you see roll there are 10 below it, now these statements might be true sometimes but not all the time because I know through personal frustrating experience that not all tarpon that roll are on the feed.

There are certain factors that I noticed that would turn a tarpon with a small appetite into a feeding machine and that is weather and bait. I prefer to tangle with the silver king during lower light conditions in the morning or evening over bright sunny skies in the mid afternoon but with the afternoon thunderstorms Florida is known for, an epic bite can turn on like a light switch when the dark clouds appear and you can smell the rain.

 

 

 When it comes to juvenile tarpon tackle, your standard inshore gear will suffice, I personally prefer 7ft. medium heavy  rod with an 3000 series reel lined with 15lb. Power Pro braided line . My first step in rigging is attaching a 36 inch piece of 20-30lb Fluorocarbon leader with a improved Albright knot or any other leader to line knot you like to use. The next step is my shock leader that is usually a 20-inch piece of 40lb. Fluorocarbon bite tippet that ends with a 1/0 Daiichi octopus hook that is snelled.

 

 

Know that you have your rods and gear in check, you are on the spot and the fish are rolling, what know? If live bait is your thing, I would go with a large shrimp, I buy the biggest ones I can find. The reason I like shrimp over any other bait for juvenile tarpon is shrimp do not have the tendency to flee as quickly as a mullet or other baitfish. My second go to setup if large shrimp are scarce is a big mud minnow under a popping cork.

Tarpon have different styles of rolls and according to how a tarpon rolls is how you will present the bait. If a tarpon rolls in a very slow and lazy manner where he sits high in the water column in the same spot for several seconds a cast that is about a foot in front would be the best presentation. Now I don’t mean to literally hit him on the head but a few inches in front of him will normally do the job. When tarpon roll a little faster I choose to lead them by 5 ft. or so in the direction they are heading. Normally with a faster roll a tarpon will propel himself his body length within a second so leading him by his body length will insure your not casting on his back. And finally when a tarpon comes to the surface real fast and kicks hard that means they are sitting on the bottom and I usually add some split shot to my offerings and cast some where in the vicinity of the fish.

 

 

After the cast I will let out a few more feet of line and raise the rod tip to take most of the slack out, once slack is out I will slowly lower it letting the shrimp sink to the tarpon’s level and wait for the take. The bite will normally come within the first 5 seconds or so and if no take is felt I will slowly retrieve the shrimp back to the skiff.

 

 

 I always keep the bail open and ready to fire when I see a tarpon and again once the proper cast is made I count down to the take 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand etc… and then I feel the shrimp start to kick and squirm knowing that its about to become a meal and then it happens, the line goes tight. The first 5 seconds of the fight are the most important, as line starts to peel off the reel and at that moment I will start to tighten the drag and pay careful attention to “ bow to the king” as most juvenile tarpon will become air borne several times. The rest is up to you now that you’re hooked up and the fight is on, most juveniles will quit with in minutes or lay on their side for the release.

 

Flood Tide Redfish Fly Recipes

Here is another great fly that will get a redfish’s attention during the flood tides. Call to book your spin or fly fishing trip for tailing redfish 386-503-6338

 

Juvenile Tarpon Tactics

 
Rich and Tarpon 1 09-09
 

When you hear the word “Tarpon” the images that come to mind are the 100 plus pound Silver Kings leaping out of the water thrashing about trying to free themselves. Tarpon are not born as these massive strong fish that test our equipment and angling skills but are born as a small larvae that grow in the back water estuaries for the first few years of their lives till their big enough to join the migration. While maturing in the backwaters these “juveniles” can be caught on light tackle, although not tackle bruisers they will pull and display a nice aerial display like no other. 

 

 

Fishing for juvenile tarpon is most affective through out the summer months although they inhabit our northeast coastal region year round. What separates tarpon from other species is its ability to live in low oxygenated waters that contributes to the tarpon “roll’. During summer months the warm waters and low oxygen during low light conditions get tarpon rolling and make it a sight fishing opportunity. It’s commonly said rolling tarpon are happy tarpon and for every tarpon you see roll there are 10 below it, now these statements might be true sometimes but not all the time because I know through personal frustrating experience that not all tarpon that roll are on the feed.

There are certain factors that I noticed that would turn a tarpon with a small appetite into a feeding machine and that is weather and bait. I prefer to tangle with the silver king during lower light conditions in the morning or evening over bright sunny skies in the mid afternoon but with the afternoon thunderstorms Florida is known for, an epic bite can turn on like a light switch when the dark clouds appear and you can smell the rain.

 

 

 When it comes to juvenile tarpon tackle, your standard inshore gear will suffice, I personally prefer 7ft. medium heavy Fenwick rod with an Abu Garcia 804 reel lined with 20lb. Power Pro braided line. My first step in rigging is tying a spider hitch on my main line (Power Pro) next I will attach a 30 inch piece of 20 or 30lb. Fluorocarbon leader with a improved Albright knot or any other leader to line knot you like to use. The next step is my shock leader that is usually a 20-inch piece of 50lb. Fluorocarbon bite tippet that ends with a 3/0 Daiichi circle hook. You can use a 30 or 40 lb. Leader if you get refusals but you may encounter 40-60lb tarpon mixed in with the juveniles from time to time.

 

 

Know you have your rods and gear in check, you are on the spot and the fish are rolling, what know? If live bait is your thing, I would go with a large shrimp, I buy the biggest ones I can find. The reason I like shrimp over any other bait for juvenile tarpon is shrimp do not have the tendency to flee as quickly as a mullet or other baitfish. I like to set my drag also dependent on fish size, bigger the fish the looser the drag and not because I am worried of being broke off but for the tendency of pulling the hook with a real aggressive strike bigger tarpon are known for. Everyone knows when fishing with circle hooks the rule of dumb is to never and I mean never set the hook so with a larger tarpon looming boat side an aggressive take can feel like a bass fishing hook set so with a loose drag you have a little more give and less chances of pulling hooks. After the hook up I will turn the drag 180 degrees clockwise and tighten the drag and prepare for battle. 

Tarpon have different styles of rolls and according to how a tarpon rolls is how you will present the bait. If a tarpon rolls in a very slow and lazy manner where he sits high in the water column in the same spot for several seconds a cast that “hits him on the head” would be the best presentation. Now I don’t mean to literally hit him on the head but a few inches in front of him will normally do the job. When tarpon roll a little faster I choose to lead them by 5 ft. or so in the direction they are heading. Normally with a faster roll a tarpon will propel himself his body length within a second so leading him by his body length will insure your not casting on his back. And finally when a tarpon comes to the surface real fast and kicks hard that means they are sitting on the bottom and I usually add some split shot to my offerings and cast some where in the vicinity of the fish.

 

 

After the cast I will let out a few more feet of line and raise the rod tip to take most of the slack out, once slack is out I will slowly lower it letting the shrimp sink to the tarpon’s level and wait for the take. The bite will normally come within the first 5 seconds or so and if no take is felt I will slowly retrieve the shrimp back to the skiff.

 

 

 I always keep the bail open and ready to fire when I see a tarpon and again once the proper cast is made I count down to the take 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand etc… and then I feel the shrimp start to kick and squirm knowing that its about to become a meal and then it happens, the line goes tight. The first 5 seconds of the fight are the most important, as line starts to peel off the reel and at that moment I will start to tighten the drag and pay careful attention to “ bow to the king” as most juvenile tarpon will become air borne several times. The rest is up to you now that you’re hooked up and the fight is on, most juveniles will quit with in minutes or lay on their side for the release.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Fillet a Flounder

The first steps of cleaning a Flounder is making sure you have a sharp fillet knife and a good cutting surface. I normally do all my Flounder cleaning in my kitchen and lay down news paper to create a non slip surface.

 

the red lines represent the cuts that are made into the flounder.

 

Step 1

I lay the Flounder facing to the left and create my semi “T” cut. I start  the gill cut from the top of the flounder to the bottom of the flounder.

 

Step 2

 My second cut is down the latteral line which is on the flounders backbone that starts at the gills and continue all the way to the tail.

 

Step 3

Start at the top of the flounder insert the knife along the backbone and work the tip of the knife at an angle using long strokes that start at the gills and continue to the tail, cutting the meat away from the bones. Use your free hand to lift the fillet and almost peeling the fillet back off the bone as you cut.

Step4

 

know start on the other side of the flounder and cut open fillet the same way.

 

 

Step 5

Now you can cut the fillets free from the flounder and remove the skin by holding the tip of the fillet with a fork and use the fillet knife at an angle and slide the fillet knife between the skin and meat.

Your half way done since flounder hold meat on both sides of their body, so turn the flounder over and redo steps 1-5 and now you have 4 fillets and a good meal.

 

 

 

 

Replacing wheel bearings

Replacing Wheel Bearings and Hubs

By Captain Chris Herrera

 

 

 It’s that time again to make a check list and get not only your boat but trailer ready for those long or short hauls to your favorite fishing destination. A 20 minute check can save you not only hours of being stranded on the side of the road but plenty of costly repairs and worse case scenario your life.

 

Here is a list on how to check your trailers bearing and hubs:

 

Tools- Wrench, Flat Head Screw Driver, Hammer, Fine Grit Sandpaper

 

 

Checking Hubs and Bearings for ware.

  • Look for ware on Grease caps (if water intrusion is found from leak in grease cap inspect bearings)
  • Jack up trailer, spin tire and listen for grinding or noises. Make sure tires turns with ease and there is no wobble or play in the tire
  • Inspect Hubs, look for corrosion and grease leaking from back of Hub through seal
  • If ware or noise is present disassemble hub and check Bearings for rust

 

Step 1. Removing Hub from Spindle

  • Hammer off old grease caps
  • Straighten tang washer (use screw driver)
  • Remove Castle Nut and Washer (use wrench)
  • Clean Spindle (rub with very fine sandpaper)

 

Step 2. Preparing and assembly of Hubs and Bearings

  • Prep both Hubs by inserting marine grease in to Hubs
  • Apply Marine Grease to Bearing  (place grease in palm and cover bearing)
  • Insert Bearing into Hub tapered side first (make sure bearing moves freely)
  • Insert other greased Bearing on back of Hub
  • Gently use hammer to tap on seals on back of Hubs

Seat seal flush to hub DO NOT drive into hub

  • Wipe off excess grease

 

Step 3. Installing hubs to Trailer

  • Add some Marine Grease to Spindle
  • Slide Hub onto Spindle (make sure hubs sits flush on spindle
  • Insert Slide Washer (could use old one if in good shape)
  • Insert New Tang Washer
  • Tighten Castle nut all the way to seat Bearing then back off  ¼ turn (make sure there is no play in hub by tugging towards and away from your body)
  • Bend one end of Tang washer to lock in Castle nut
  • Apply grease with grease gun (3-5 pumps max-over greasing can blow out seals on back of hubs
  • Attach grease caps or dust caps by gently tapping with a hammer

 

 

 Tips-

·        Use gloves as this could be a messy job

·        If on long trips carry spare hub, bearings and tools

 

 

If you do not want to tackle this project on your own contact Nick at Ormond Trailer and Hitch for parts and service 386-615-8239