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Posted by Bill Bishop on 2013-02-12 04:10:33

I'll be going south in a few weeks. First stop is Boca Grande. Scattered reports of a laid up tarpon inside some of the back country bays. These are resident fish that for whatever reason didn't migrate.
Typically tarpon lay up high in the water column in early season more so than later. I always felt this has to do with the cooler water near the bottom thus mid day the fish seek out the top two feet of water warmed by the high sun.

They face in to the tidal flow and at times anglers can see the tail of the fish well above the surface but most fish are spotted by hunting the sand holes ect. When a laid up fish is spotted it is generally close. I love this method of finding fish because it involves two things I enjoy most... hunting and fishing.

I have found one of the most successful ways of taking laid up tarpon is using a curve cast. Often a fish is spotted facing away and the curve cast allows the fly to land ahead of the fish without lining it. The tidal flow delivers the offering. When the tarpon is facing the angler a curve cast works because unlike a direct cast the fish isn't following the fly toward the skiff.

This is one of the few times casting to tarpon can be considered delicate.... as delicate as one can get with a twelve weight.

I am constantly reminding myself to pick a spot on the water to cast to rather than looking at the tarpon. I'll land the fly smack on the noggin if not careful to pick a spot.

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