Use fresh bait

Fresh bait, even fresh cut bait, is a requirement for successful tarpon fishing.

Tarpon with a hearty appetite migrate up the eastern seaboard in the summer in search of large schools of mullet and menhaden.

While tarpon will take a variety of other baits, including spots, croakers and crabs, they expect live or freshly-dead bait. Tarpon are opportunistic feeders but will not feast on anything that does not mimic the class of their daily diet. They will always be within smelling distance of huge schools of menhaden and mullet. Anglers should use bait of similar quality.

Most fishermen who target tarpon prefer mullet or menhaden, but all live bait is not created equal. Tarpon prefer lively baits over nearly dead and sick-looking bait. For the best results, anglers should get a net full of menhaden or mullet fresh each day.

Good tarpon bait doesn’t always have to be alive, but frozen or old bait will rarely draw a strike. Tarpon will readily eat chunks of cut or dead bait tumbling across the sea floor, but cut bait must be fresh fish. If dead bait is to be used, it should be kept on ice and should be used within a few days of capture.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply