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Can't be what you ain't.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a small park off of 288 just south of Clute. I stopped to throw a lure off the circular pier/stage they have at the end of the cut. It is about 6 miles to the jetties there. I made three cast and on the third cast a large bright silver fish exploded to the surface chasing my chickenboy lure. He didn hit the bait. I had him swipe at my bait about 10 times in an hr of jacking with it. It was about 30-40 inches long and about 10" tall at his tallest point. The only thing I can think of is a tarpon. It was not a lady fish, this thing was big. He never actually even hit my bait just chased it a bunch. I tried a bunch of baits. He actually even chased my orange popping cork one time as well. It was only about 3-4 feet deep in this area. You think I am correct? Could it have been a tarpon? Any other options? I have never caught one or seen one in water the chasing bait. I do however know what they look like and seen them in aquarium. I do know they are in our area as well. Some kids showed up after school and started beating on the pier and making a bunch of racket so I left.
 

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Definatly could of been. If your sure it wasnt a ladyfish then there isnt much else out there that closely resembles a tarpon. The depth rules out mackerel but you never know. Go back and get him!
 

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Can't be what you ain't.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure as heck wasn't a mackerel. Im pretty positive it was a tarpon. Just unsure why he didn't actually rake the bait. I slowed it down and even jigged it up and down and he came back and would flash at it but I never felt a bump.
 

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messing with you

He's messing with your head. So join the faternity of those who have been seduced into the never ending quest to land a tarpon. It'll last a live time.
 

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Sure as heck wasn't a mackerel. Im pretty positive it was a tarpon. Just unsure why he didn't actually rake the bait. I slowed it down and even jigged it up and down and he came back and would flash at it but I never felt a bump.
Get used to it... thats what they do to mess with your head!

Try downsizing next time. Toss a fly at him that resembles a rain minnow or something of that sort. Alot of times they chase around big stuff but wont commit and eat until something tiny swims by them.
 

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Can't be what you ain't.
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Well it worked. He had me all ****** off. I probably would have stayed until dark if it wasn't for those kids jacking around.

I wont be back in that area for some time. Anybody want to know the place and go give him a try let me know I'll tell you where he was. If there is still bait in there there's a good chance he still hanging around. Some of you may already know where thats at off 288 and that circular pier/stage.
 

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That's the Freeport Municipal park and the body of water is the Freeport Harbor (also known as the old Brazos river). In the winter bait stacks up in there and the trout and reds can get fairly thick. If you saw one baby tarpon in there its a good bet there are a bunch in there. Another good place for tarpon this time of year is in the New Brazos river at the Dow plant B outfalls (warm water discharge). They can be pretty finicky though, as your experience suggests.
 

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Try downsizing next time. Toss a fly at him that resembles a rain minnow or something of that sort. Alot of times they chase around big stuff but wont commit and eat until something tiny swims by them.
^^^^This is some good advice^^^. Its amazing how even a huge Tarpon will go after a small fly well presented.
 

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Can't be what you ain't.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey, Mr. Meadowlark. Didn't think u ventured far from the freshwater board. I should have known with your years of learning and vast knowledge u would have some good advice.

He definatley got under my skin. My first run in with the elusive tarpon and im now thinking of booking a tarpon trip on our vacation to Destin in june.
 

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Hey, Mr. Meadowlark. Didn't think u ventured far from the freshwater board.
LOL...I was catching Tarpon off Freeport well before they "discovered" Tarpon Alley off Galveston/Freeport.

If you can drive a little ways on your vacation, the Tarpon fishing will be better south of Tampa. The first place I ever fished for them in Florida was Boca Grande and it still has one of the highest concentrations of Tarpon anywhere...but also the highest concentration of boats.

I love to hear about baby Tarpon in Freeport....great report.
 

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He definatley got under my skin. My first run in with the elusive tarpon and im now thinking of booking a tarpon trip on our vacation to Destin in june.
Might want to push that date back if your going to Destin. There will still be tarpon around but not too many. End of July is when they usually school up bigtime on the beaches there.
 

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LOL...I was catching Tarpon off Freeport well before they "discovered" Tarpon Alley off Galveston/Freeport.

If you can drive a little ways on your vacation, the Tarpon fishing will be better south of Tampa. The first place I ever fished for them in Florida was Boca Grande and it still has one of the highest concentrations of Tarpon anywhere...but also the highest concentration of boats.

I love to hear about baby Tarpon in Freeport....great report.
Any hints on how far out of SLP to go for Tarpon? I fish sometimes out there when it's calm but no luck other than sharks.
 

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I can tell you first hand they stack up thick at the SPI jetties as well. Getting them to bite is a whole other issue though. I've snorkeled down there on clear days and seen schools of em cruising the rocks, anywhere from 3-5' in length, and schools big enough they just look like a huge mass of "silver" cruising around. Pretty impressive site to see.
 

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Any hints on how far out of SLP to go for Tarpon? I fish sometimes out there when it's calm but no luck other than sharks.
It varies but my best times have been in August about 6 or 7 miles out of the pass. Calm days are good cause you can spot them rolling. I've seen them out there from June to Sept. but big schools in August...and big Tarpon.
 

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It varies but my best times have been in August about 6 or 7 miles out of the pass. Calm days are good cause you can spot them rolling. I've seen them out there from June to Sept. but big schools in August...and big Tarpon.
I'm right around that distance on occasion. More closer inland than farther lately. Got a few tips from some guides. I guess I'll keep my eyes peeled
Thanks
 

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A lot of people in FL have been saying that the panhandle is just as good, or even better now for Tarpon than BGP. There is so much pressure down there in the pass that it's making it harder. I hooked my first one in BGP, so will always love that area, but want to try it around the pan handle. I didn't know there would be any baby tarpon in and around Freeport, and that's awesome to see.
 

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Can't be what you ain't.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Might want to push that date back if your going to Destin. There will still be tarpon around but not too many. End of July is when they usually school up bigtime on the beaches there.
We are goping for a family trip. A charter will be a bonus. Trip is planned. Maybe just do some diving then.
 

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Can't be what you ain't.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In that case stick with it and get a guide! I mis understood your post... thought you were planning a tarpon only trip. Good luck. I will be down there aswell.
Yeah I am looking for something special to do for myself for this trip. my kids are still a little to young experience this with me. They are 6 and 7. The rest of trip will be spent of the family. I am getting one day to my self with the guys, whether it is tarpon or any other bad arse florida charter.
 

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richg99
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OK....I'm going to give away my 20 yr old secret....on the hopes that, if someone catches a silver king ...they will invite this old guy on their next tarpon trip.

Some 20+ years ago I met Cookie & Lloyd Pepper in Costa Rica. We were on a tarpon trip sponsored by a local magazine. Everyone caught one or more silver kings. Everyone caught them on red..black Coast Hawk lures.

I can't find them being made anywhere, but I still have the one I caught my 90 lb. King on. So.....if you can find a coast hawk lure, or something that resembles one..your odds might go up! Regards Rich
 
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