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Orlando Tarpon

Orlando's Best Tarpon Fishing on the Atlantic Ocean

Monday January 22, 2018

Tarpon are among the most sought after saltwater game fish in the Orlando area, Florida is thriving with a healthy population of these silver jumpers or "Silver Kings" as they're often called. What's unusual about these fish is that they have no food value but anglers simply like to catch them for their enormous size and aerobatic fight. Tarpon are known to many anglers as the "Silver King" and when you hook one for the first time you get to know why they're named appropriately.

"I had an exciting day of fishing with Captain Richard catching a great tarpon and loosing a few more on a hot summer morning east of Orlando. I can't wait to get out there with him again." explains Captain Gina after catching the tarpon in the photograph above.

In the backwaters we often catch baby tarpon under twenty five pounds on both artificial and live baits. Tarpon have unusually hard mouths that have been compared to cinder blocks and remain toothless, but are non-the-less difficult to drive a hook into and extra sharp hooks are a must. Smaller tarpon are often more difficult to hookup than larger ones because of the lack of weight that helps drive the hooks into that formidable jaw, it's often easier to hook them on small sharp tackle and flyrods. Mammoth sized tarpon that are often caught off the beaches and in the inlets can exceed 175 pounds and are generally easier to hookup but difficult to land as it's an endurance test for both angler and fish.

Fights on larger tarpon often exceed two hours on the ocean because the tarpon sound deeper and put more stress on the tackle. Generally speaking a shallow caught tarpon in the lagoon will tire quicker, but the fights are still exciting and may exceed an hour if the fish is over eighty pounds or so. There are fish fighting tactics that can get the job done quicker and with better success. Number One Tactic is to always put the tip of the rod in the water when the fish starts to jump and continue keeping the tip submerged until the fish has completed it's jumping antics. This puts the line in the water and prevents shock waves from jerking the bait or throwing the hook. Many anglers call this method "Bowing to the Silver King", it's a good method and very valid. The second Tactic is to fight your fish against the angle he's swimming while keeping a downward pressure. This method messes up the tarpon's balance and disorients them for a quicker fight.

Anyway around it, Tarpon are a hard fighting and relatively consistent fishery in the Orlando area. If you want a tarpon fishing trip the best times are in the summer and fall in Central Florida's Orlando seashore.

Tarpon have one single dorsal fin (the fin on the top) that extends into long filament. A tarpon's back is dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the side. Their color may vary and be brownish gold in estuarine waters. Tarpon have huge scales that are often kept as trophies by anglers and a large mouth that points upward.

Primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found. We find our larger tarpon off the beaches in the summer. They are often found rolling on the surface and gulping air in while lurking for food or taking it easy between feeding sessions.

Tarpon can often be found in brackish or freshwater near mangroves or in residential canals. Look for tarpon to show up almost anywhere on the lagoons and beaches in Florida, but tarpon "promise land" is found in the Florida Keys and other locations around Florida. While the Orlando, Cocoa Beach area is not as consistent for these gamefish as south Florida areas, we nevertheless we catch our share of tarpon in the Central Florida area when the timing is right and they're around. Tarpon tend to move into the Central Florida area and move out... The Florida Keys tends to hold them year around.


Tarpon are slow growers and mature between 7 to 13 years of age. Spawning occurs between May and September when females may lay more than 12 million eggs each. Tarpon can tolerate wide range of salinity from fresh to very salty estuary waters. Juvenile tarpon are commonly found in fresh water and can breathe air at surface. Tarpon feed mainly on fish and large crustaceans.


Requires $50 tarpon tag to possess or harvest and two fish possession limit.

State Record

243 lbs.

Awesome Tarpon Fishing on the Atlantic Ocean

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: February 07 2017 23:58:46.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

January - 2018 Fishing Report

The Banana River comes alive during the colder months of year and January is the peak season for deep hole trout, redfish and juvenile black drum. We've been fishing the deeper canals and slews with success during the cold fronts when the water is cold and also catching some great sized fish on the flats adjacent to these holes. Look for the Banana River to improve as the winter gets colder and the fish transition to their winter haunts in pursuit of cold, stable water. Look for mature fish to seek warmth on the shallow shorelines nearby.

Fishing Forecast

January - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Is it going to be an Indian Summer this January or possibly a deep freeze Polar Vortex? These are the questions that all fishing guides want to know. Depending on how this winter plays out with temperatures, winds and other conditions will dictate how our fishing will pan out in January. Unless the water is churned up by high winds, January will produce some of the cleanest and clearest water of the year in Central Florida as colder water kills of plankton life in the lagoons and mild northeast winds often push in clearer water in the ocean. Look for great inshore fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon and Northern end of the Indian River toward Titusville. If the winds and water are all frothed up it can be a crap shoot for fishing in almost every inshore locations and will shutdown all offshore fishing due to small craft warnings and safety warnings. However, between fronts, look for some of the best fishing of the year in January both inshore and offshore in Central Florida.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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TripAdvisor Review

Review / Trip Advisor

Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Excellent day on the water with Captain Richard - We were fortunate to get a good day off shore, trolling for bigger fish. We caught Crevelle Jack, Bonito and King Mackerel. Richard was a blast to fish with and knew his stuff. He made our day lots of fun and productive. Would definitely go out with him again!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on May 17, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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