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#12290063 - 06/12/17 12:10 PM Texas Tarpon
Matt AKfishco Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/11/17
Posts: 9
Loc: East TX
Looking for suggestions on the best place in Texas to have a realistic shot at tarpon. Just got back from my yearly trip to the Keys, went 11 for 23 (over 5 days of fishing) with the biggest going around 160. Not ready to call it good for another year. Would really like a shot from the shore (jetty) but willing to charter if it's a real fishery and not "scratching lottery tickets". I've heard South Padre, Port Aransas, etc. but would really appreciate any tips, insights, etc. y'all can share.

Much obliged.

Matt

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#12290119 - 06/12/17 12:34 PM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
Meadowlark Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 2976
Loc: East Texas
That's a nice average, about 50%.

During the first two weeks of August, some big Tarpon( 180 to 200 pound class) are reliably present in a wide band of water about 7 miles offshore from north of the north jetties off Galveston to well south of the Freeport jetties. You can normally find them rolling and/or chasing bait fish on the surface.

This time is generally also a very stable weather phase with good seas unless there is a storm in the Gulf somewhere.

If you have a good, reliable boat, this fishing is easily done without a guide. One of the down sides is lots of 100 pound class black tips and big jacks often also patrol those waters and the sharks especially can wear you down while trying to get to the Silver King.

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#12290285 - 06/12/17 02:08 PM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
Mo Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 12000
Loc: Lake Palestine/Cherokee co
Originally Posted By: Matt AKfishco
Looking for suggestions on the best place in Texas to have a realistic shot at tarpon. Just got back from my yearly trip to the Keys, went 11 for 23 (over 5 days of fishing) with the biggest going around 160. Not ready to call it good for another year. Would really like a shot from the shore (jetty) but willing to charter if it's a real fishery and not "scratching lottery tickets". I've heard South Padre, Port Aransas, etc. but would really appreciate any tips, insights, etc. y'all can share.

Much obliged.

Matt

would like hear more about your trip,
I don't make it yearly , but have been going ever 2-3 since the late 80's.
Started around Marathon then moved down to Key West.
My two attempts in Texas and one Belize resulted in 0/0.
good luck
MO
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#12290398 - 06/12/17 03:03 PM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Mo]
Matt AKfishco Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/11/17
Posts: 9
Loc: East TX
Sure thing. We fished directly out of Key West....which is a loud and tacky place in general but there are some good people there. The first two days were with Captain Jamie Connell from Flyingfish Charters (http://www.flyingfishkw.com/) and I recommend him highly. We found a group of rolling fish out in front of Fort Zachary Taylor, anchored upcurrent from them, and chummed with chunks of Mahara. We freelined chunk baits back into the pod (40lb leader and circle hooks). It was sometimes hard to feel that bite when the current was up, and we had to chase the fish some with all the boat traffic, but ended up with 7 hooked and 4 to the boat that day. Day 2 was more of the same with a couple of new spots worked in. Went 2 for 6. My 14 year old caught his first and was ecstatic. It was a couple of solid days. Jamie is a smart dude. He'll fish live bait, chum, chase them with a fly, whatever you want to do.

Day 3 was with Dreamcatcher Charters, and we fished with Captain John. Not sure on his last name but he's a young guy and a great guide and a natural coach. We fished the flats this time, drifting live pinfish back into the cuts. Well, my wife and my son did....I stayed on the bow throwing a hoagie lure in a fan pattern. My wife caught her first tarpon, my son caught another, and I jumped 4 fish with the hoagie, fought one for about 5 minutes, but just couldn't get the hook to stick. If there is a way to use a circle hook on a hoagie I wish someone would show me! We did do one last drift with a pinfish before pulling up, and I caught one decent tarpon right as the day ended. Dreamcatcher runs a good operation. Captain John and Captain Tommy Z are both great.

Day 4 the wind started screaming so we only did a half-day....back with Jamie Connell again. My brother caught a hog around 160lbs and I caught a baby around 30lbs chumming in front of Fort Zach again. Broke one off in the rocks. Spent the rest of the day catching yellowtails and muttons. Took them into town that night and had one of the best dinners I've ever had.

Day 5 blew so hard all we could do was find a channel and shark fish. Went with Captain Pepe from Sieze the Day Charters. It was so-so. You could tell he didn't want to be on the water and it translated. No slick, no cuda, just dead snappers on hooks. We caught some Caribbean reef sharks, a couple of nurse sharks, and fought a spinner for about 30 minutes. Overall though he just drove the boat and we did the rest ourselves. Fine for guys with 30 years experience but a novice would've been in tough shape.

In all, a fine trip. Expensive, but we saved up 2 years for it. I know some of the live bait guys down there think "chumming is cheating" but I say BS. It works, and when you see tarpon flashing in the slick your heart gets pounding. I loved it. Would love to try in Texas! Anyway, thanks for letting me run my yap!!!

Matt

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#12290503 - 06/12/17 04:23 PM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
TroutSupport.com Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 1363
Loc: Entire Gulf and Atlantic Coast...
Galveston and Port OConnor

Galveston contact Silver King Adventures or Chad Wright they are there already.. don't have to wait until august. They actually showed up early this year and have been there for month. POC might check in with Curtis Cash I believe.
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#12291454 - 06/13/17 08:00 AM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
mickeytfc Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 131
Loc: Little Elm
Sounds like a great trip Matt. I'm going to have to save up and take my wife and kids to do the same, when the kids get a little older. Thanks for the story!
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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#12295254 - 06/15/17 08:02 AM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
jnd59 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 625
Loc: Weatherford
I've had luck off of the Mansfield cut jetties but you will need a 4wd to get there. Just enter PINS from the north and drive all the way down the beach. In October, when the mullet are thick, I've hooked several off that jetty. Nothing big, maybe 20 to 40 lbs but fun nonetheless.
_________________________

I fish on a 14 ft piece of plastic.

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#12297184 - 06/16/17 10:52 AM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: jnd59]
Matt AKfishco Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/11/17
Posts: 9
Loc: East TX
20-40 lbs is perfect. Anything bigger than that starts to feel an awful lot like work. Were you using live mullet?


Edited by Matt AKfishco (06/16/17 10:53 AM)

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#12298757 - 06/17/17 05:31 PM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
basspromaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 2312
Loc: Stephenville, TX
Mansfield jetties live mullet.
_________________________
Politicians, baseball players, high-powered corporate CEO's they all seem to eventually let us down. Nature, however, does not. Look to her for inspiration and you will learn the secrets to living a good life. The most Important lesson it would seem is to make sure you spend as much time fishing as anything else.

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#12298975 - 06/17/17 09:37 PM Re: Texas Tarpon [Re: Matt AKfishco]
jnd59 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 625
Loc: Weatherford
Yes. Live mullet free lined on the surf side of the jetty. You can catch reds with the same setup on the channel side but you have to put up with the lady fish
_________________________

I fish on a 14 ft piece of plastic.

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