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May 29, 2009

Key in on Tarpon

For the hottest summer tarpon action, head to the passes of the middle Florida Keys.

Travel Guide

The smaller, more popular passes like Channel 2 can get crowded quickly, especially on a tide change or around sunset, so good manners are paramount. If you're moving into or out of a fleet of anchored boats, do so slowly, and never cross closely behind another boat.

Try to figure out which way the fish are moving, and if you have to get in line, do so down-current, far behind the other anchored boats. Nothing will draw the ire of a fellow tarpon fisherman like moving into position in front of those who arrived before you.

And if you drop off of the anchor after hooking a fish, get on top of the fish quickly and wind your way through the fleet carefully, doing your best not to foul their lines or interfere with their fishing.

By staying right over the fish, you maintain better control, and if the fish decides to go under the bridge, you can easily determine which opening they will go through. If you have lots of line out, you'll almost certainly get cut off on the bridge abutment.

WHAT: Tarpon
WHEN: Spring and Summer
WHERE: Florida Keys, Islamorada to Marathon
WHO: It's easy to fish Keys passes on your own, or you can contact one of the middle Keys marinas listed opposite to book a charter. Many captains offer short four-hour charters around tide changes.


Holiday Isle

World Wide Sportsman

Bud N' Mary's


Hawks Cay Resort

Captain Hooks Marina

The Tackle Box

World Class Angler

Capt. Skip Nielsen