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Baby Tarpon on the Prowl

It's that time of year again, when small tarpon may be seen rolling at first light on brackish backwaters around Florida. As inshore water temps warm into the 80s and algae blooms contribute to low oxygen levels, the tarpon utilize their vestigial lungs to take atmospheric oxygen. Watch for quick splashes and slow-moving rolls, as the fish gulp air and return to the depths. This week, one FS Member, Super D of Orlando, got out on the Halifax River, in Volusia County, for some early morning tarpon action. His account is typical of early summer "baby" tarpon fishing for flyrodders in many quarters of the state:

"Got out early, before the winds picked up," he wrote. "As I poled up, one rolled, then another. I anchored up close, and started tossing flies to rollers, with no luck. Used a floating line, with a couple of differant flies, then a sinking line, also with no luck. I tied on a all purple EP fly, with a little blue wing and flash mixed in with big yellow eyes, about 3 1/4" long; has the shape of a finger mullet. Third cast, the line comes tight and this guy goes burserk, jumping 5 times, and pealing drag before I get off the poling platform. After a few more jumps, and some short speedy runs, a 48" Tarpon comes to hand. Not a big fish, but the first one of 2012, and fun for sure. Around 9:30 the wind got to be almost unfishable."

Forum Members have been sharing some techniques for these fish in the General Fly Fishing Forum. Click here to see one useful thread.

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