Tarpon Tackle & Equipment
Although bonefish are what most fly fishers are chasing in the Bahamas, tarpon are available. Tarpon in the Bahamas are most often seen in and around creek, freshwater springs and blue holes. Most tarpon in the Bahamas range in size between 30 – 60 pounds. Big tarpon, up to and over 100 pounds, are often sighted in the spring and summer. If you own a 10, 11 or 12 weight rods, bring it to the Bahamas if you intend to hunt tarpon.
A heavy-duty saltwater reel is a must here. Look for a reel with a smooth drag, plenty of backing capacity, and a sturdy one-piece, machined, aluminum anodized frame. Models to consider are built by Hardy, Abel, Galvan, Ross and Hatch.
Ninety percent of tarpon fishing is done with a weight forward floating line and the Scientific Anglers Amplitude Textured Tarpon Taper is one of the best. A good second choice in a tarpon line is a full sinking intermediate line, and we fish the S.A. Sonar in this situation.
Leaders for tarpon can be simple, or complex. The knots used in building class tippet tarpon leaders take some practice to learn, and it can be very rewarding to acquire those skills. We often build a simple tarpon leader with 8 foot of 40# fluorocarbon followed by 2 feet of 60#, 80#, or 100# bite tippet. You can also purchase Hand-Tied Tarpon Leaders from Rio.
If you would like to tie your own tarpon leaders, some good reference books are Lefty Krey’s “Fly Fishing in Saltwater” and “Practical Fishing Knots by Lefty Kreh and Mark Sosin.” We like to use clear, stiff monofilament or fluorocarbon when constructing our class leaders.
In general, tarpon flies for the Bahamas should be tied on 1/0 through 3/0 size hooks. Slight variations in shape and color can be all that is needed to entice tarpon into striking. Flies to consider are.