Their striking appearance combined with their impressive size and fighting ability earned them the nickname of “Silver King.” They are found in the Atlantic Ocean in subtropical and tropical regions but can be spotted as far up as Nova Scotia, the Atlantic coast of Southern France and as far South as Argentina.
Tarpons have a swim bladder which acts as a lung, allowing them to actually breathe oxygen and survive in inhospitable habitats. This swim bladder allows them a predatory advantage because when oxygen levels are low, they can still hunt for food. Young tarpon can be found in brackish waters, stagnant waters and sometimes even freshwater because of their swim bladder. Tarpon can breathe where other fish may not be able to.
Tarpon can grow up to 98 inches in length and weigh up to 350 pounds. The official state record in Florida is 243 pounds, caught in 1975 off the Key West. Tarpon are greenish or blue-gray on top and silver on the sides. Their large mouths are turned upwards and the lower jaw holds an elongated bony plate. The last ray of their dorsal fin can reach to nearly their tail which is much longer than the other fins. They have a deeply forked tail with oversized plate-like scales. Male tarpon can live up to 30 years, females up to 50 years. Their diets consist of schooling fish and crabs.
Tarpon begins spawning following the first full moon of the spring where they gather in coastal waters coming in from offshore waters. They congregate in an interesting pre-spawn rite known as the daisy chain. The daisy chain is a dance–like ritual that consists of groups of fish swimming in closely grouped and circular patterns.
What does The Keel SystemTM do?
Tarpon with more greenish coloured backs are more likely to take bait because they are returning from the journey offshore to spawn. They will be ready to eat what is thrown at them, so long as it’s attractive. Blue-gray backed tarpon have likely not gone to spawn yet and are not hungry.The Keel Difference - Feeding
The Reel Keel swims like an injured baitfish, mimicking the c-factor that a bait fish makes as it is just about to swim away from a predator. This will make any tarpon want to attack before its perceived next meal gets away.Time of Day for Tarpon
The best time of the day to fish for tarpon varies greatly depending on the environment. Tarpon are active at night, so night fishing is excellent. Bridge fishing at night works well since tarpons are attracted to lights. In the day time, first light through to noon is best along the beaches. Along flats, early morning to early afternoon is preferred.The Keel Difference- Time of Day
The Reel Keel works well with tarpon because of the built in flash of the blade and the white underside of the hard-body. Certain Reel Keels (available soon) will be a glow-in-the dark model which will offer a glowing time of 4 hours.
These are what our Pro Fishermen recommend for Tarpon. You may find other colors that work for you in your particular location. The lures listed below are the #400 SERIES ONLY. For our full color listing and #300 Series, head over to our Fishing Store.
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