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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was down on the Port A jetty for a while Saturday night. I fished for a couple of hours without seeing a fish or getting a bite so I decided to move to the end of the jetty to check things out there. When I got down there things looked pretty quiet. Just after losing a Storm lure on the rocks, bait fish started skittering around and I began to see pale slabs of white just below the surface. A school of good size tarpon had moved into the area.

I quickly tied on another swim lure and started casting. Cast after cast was made with nothing to show but an occassional bump or tug on the lure but no hook ups. Then, wham! The rod bends, line peels off against the drag, and a 5'+ tarpon thrashes momentarily on the surface before the line goes slack. ****! I didn't get a solid hook up.

I reel in the lure for the next cast then decide to check the leader for fraying and to make sure that the hook is still sharp.

So what's the tip of the week you ask?

BE SURE TO REMOVE THE PLASTIC POINT GUARD FROM THE SWIM LURE HOOK BEFORE FISHING.

I couldn't believe it.
 

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Bill C,

Do you mind telling us what you are casting with? Specifically, Rod, Reel, and line test.

Thanks!
 

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Too funny

Bill, you know those darn tarpon are hard enough to hook, but I guess you needed more of a challenge!

I'm heading to Port O'Connor tomorrow to try to find a tarpon. Has anyone heard any reports from there?

Thanks,
Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gear

I mostly use a Garcia 6500C with 20# test line for reel and line. I have a Garcia 5500C with 14-17# line that I use if I am expecting to encounter smaller fish. I may put these on any of several rods depending on what kind of casting or sensitivity I need. I recently purchased a 7' Shakespeare Catfish Ugly Stick to try to increase tip sensitivity and still have the backbone to set the hook. The jury is still out on this rod. I seem to be having a hard time getting hook set with it. I would think that the ideal rod would be something like a worming rod or flipping stick for bass. One that has a sensitive tip but a good stiff back to allow for hook set and a quick fight.

I am not much of a gear guy so I don't know all the terminology. I had been using either a 6'6" Ugly Stick or a Daiwa Northcoast Eliminator, medium action. The 6'6" Ugly stick had enough sensitivity to detect the pick up of small tarpon but I wanted more backbone to be able to wrestle the bigger (up to 4') in. The Daiwa had the backbone but less sensitivity.

Because I am pretty hard on my gear over time, as you can see, I don't buy expensive rods or reels.

I don't know how well the 6500 would have held up to the 5-6 footers I was seeing from the jetty Saturday night but I have caught that size tarpon with that reel from a boat. I suspect a 7000 would be a better choice but that is not in the budget right now.

As for the Port O'Connor question there is a post earlier on the board about Pass Cavio that apparently is a reference to the POC area.
 

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Garcia 5500

Finally I see somone who uses the Garcia reels. I am not a pro or anything but my Garcias have handled anything I can throw at them. As a matter of fact, Pro fishermen would laugh at my equipment. Its like golf, I still use a persimmons wood (don't laugh) but the results is where it counts. I always smerk when I'm taking there money. With fishing, its the same, the equipment doesn't catch the fish, its the fisherman and the technique. Just my .02 cents.
 

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For chunkin" and crankin', I still use my old original 5000c's, 6000c's and 5500c's. In the winter I have a couple of near mint 5000 (the red ones) that I use. That low retrieve works great that time of year. A rinse after each trip, a little oil now and then and a good cleaning every so often and they're good to go.
 

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Too Funny!!! I did that with three surf trout. Couldn't figure out why they kept coming off. Remove the plastic hook guard.
 

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5500's

wow that some great news, i didnt know a 5500 could handle a tarpon off the jetties (smaller tarpon at least) all i need is a good rod. right now im spooled with 125 yrds of 20# braid and backed with id say 150yrds of 14# mono on a 5600 c4 ...good or bad? i just need to get it off the 6'6" bass pro rod and get something long enough to cast farther.
 

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You might look at the 7' or 7 1/2' Kistler Hellium medium action. It's amazingly light but has plenty of backbone and tip for hook-setting and the best sensitivity on the market.
These rods were origionally developed for professional bass fishermen but are making inroads into saltwater fishing on both the East and Gulf Coasts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mando

All of the small tarpon I have caught from the jetties have picked up the lure close to the rocks so long casts are not needed from the jetties.

The gear you have seems like it would be plenty tough enough for small tarpon.
 

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Garcia Reels

I am a firm believer that it isn't so much the tackle as the fisherman. I landed a 8ft sailfish a couple years back on a 5500 with 12lbs test line. The fight took two hours before I landed it. The rod was a cheap Premiere rod series from academy.
 

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A'men brother...

That's what makes it fun......
longboarder said:
I am a firm believer that it isn't so much the tackle as the fisherman. I landed a 8ft sailfish a couple years back on a 5500 with 12lbs test line. The fight took two hours before I landed it. The rod was a cheap Premiere rod series from academy.
 
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