Redfish, flounder, and speckled trout are all biting hot in the lowcountry, but the silver king is also in the mix. And while their numbers aren’t as abundant as the inshore’s big three, some anglers have had success hooking and landing tarpon in the past few weeks.
Capt. Mike Able of Haddrell’s Point Tackle in Mt. Pleasant said while a few anglers have been catching them on artificial lures, it’s generally a waiting game with live or cut bait for most anglers.
“You can use a variety of live bait just as if you’re fishing for bull reds. You want a longer leader, but they hang out in the same places and will eat the same things. Tarpon will also eat cut shrimp. It’s a waiting game for them though, so you have to be willing to put in the time,” said Able.
Able hasn’t been able to land one yet this year, but he said they have been in the area for a few weeks now, and he’s been working on hooking one. One of his employees, Harry McAdams has landed two so far this year.
Capt. Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) has also been after the tarpon, and landed a 110-pounder recently. He’s finding them just past the breakers, as well as in the inlets and sandbars in the Charleston area, and he said they are biting live menhaden and live mullet the best.
Bennett said anglers who are really targeting tarpon should start off with four rods rigged with 8/0 to 10/0 circle hooks. The trick is to put two baits on the bottom and two on or close to the surface, and to be ready for a fight. His 110-pounder took 30 minutes to land.
North Carolina anglers area also catching some tarpon, including Ray Cercio who caught a 78-pounder off the Surf City Ocean Pier a couple of weeks ago, and youth angler Kyle Crissler caught one in the surf on Portsmouth Island. Crissler’s fish was over 6 feet in length.