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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not looking for flies/spots/anything that would cause drama. Just looking for some 3rd party info on how y'all read tarpon either laid up or cruising the beach. I've heard that fish that are riding high and slow are more likely to eat than the fish that are cruising along in the deeper section of the water column?
 

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I always saw that fish that roll more vertically dive deeper into the water column than those that roll more horizonal. Not mind-blowing, but good to know when casting the bait.
 

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I always saw that fish that roll more vertically dive deeper into the water column than those that roll more horizonal. Not mind-blowing, but good to know when casting the bait.
I agree with this from experience last tarpon season. Especially in deeper channels and channels with moderate- heavy boat traffic.
 

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My wife found a copy of Randy Wayne White's Ultimate Tarpon Book and gave it to me for my birthday. Loaded with contributions from Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Zane Grey, Ted Williams, Tom McGuane, etc. about battles and history of the sport. Looking forward to starting it, just as soon as I finish another Doc Ford novel by RWW.
 

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I'll throw one more in there, hoping to revive the thread... could be a good info share as we enter the season.

While not so much "reading tarpon," if you do dead bait/chum for them, I noticed that more often than not the tarpon eat chunks the same size as what you are chumming. Verses throwing a tail-clipped threadfin on a hook when chumming with 2" chucks.
 

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Here's a good read from https://www.saltwatersportsman.com/species/fish-species/science-behind-tarpon/

Interesting part about what they think about a tarpons eyes and what colors they can see.

One part mentions that they don't know why Tarpon "Daisy chain" and they have a picture of a school doing so.

Personally I've never witnessed as so many daisy chaining.
My experience with daisy chains have been limited to as few as three and as many five or six , depth from three to six feet,
(could be because that's where I look for em)
and they appeared to me as if they were working together to scare up a meal from the bottom. Always got a grab or at least a follow when they were doing it. Dang near got one to jump into the boat once as the 100 plus size fish followed the fly to a rods distance from the boat then apparently realized that I was standing there watching her. :)
 

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Ill chime in a tad bit here too. Generally speaking what many have said above holds true; slower moving, high in the water column, horizontal rolling fish just simply eat more regularly in my experience. There are different types of rolls and the more time you spend around them the more you will key in on what they are doing. There is no one way or right way.

They are frustrating fish and that is part of what makes them special. Tarpon have do incredible eye sight has to do with the cones in their eyes and some of the research done on them leads to believe they can recognize faces or people that feed them in captivity (summary).

Seeing a big wad of fish daisy chain nice and slow over white sand is about as special of a thing as you can see in nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My experience with daisy chains have been limited to as few as three and as many five or six , depth from three to six feet,
(could be because that's where I look for em)
and they appeared to me as if they were working together to scare up a meal from the bottom. Always got a grab or at least a follow when they were doing it. Dang near got one to jump into the boat once as the 100 plus size fish followed the fly to a rods distance from the boat then apparently realized that I was standing there watching her. :)
Thanks for the replies thus far everyone.

As far as the amount of fish I agree but for depth I've seen them between 3 and 12 feet, although the deeper fish will not play ball no matter what you thrown in the middle or along the edges.
 

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As far as the amount of fish I agree but for depth I've seen them between 3 and 12 feet
I may have posted about a place called Holbox (Mexico).
They do have some mangroves and a flat or two but they also have a reef close by that the rocks come up to about 30 feet. (section I was taken to).
I got to see the largest school of Tarpon I've ever seen. It was flat out awesome to see a football field size piece of water come alive as thousands rolled and were immediately replaced by a second wave and then a third. All were headed in the same direction. One cast, two strips and fish on. Fish bolted away leaping several times, then went down and down and down. Tarpon are not all that much fun in deep water, even on a 12 wt..

I could live with twelve feet though :)
 

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Thanks for the replies thus far everyone.

As far as the amount of fish I agree but for depth I've seen them between 3 and 12 feet, although the deeper fish will not play ball no matter what you thrown in the middle or along the edges.
Fish that roll vertically and quickly are usually diving back to the bottom. Deep fish will definitely eat and sometimes better than high fish. Just depends on the scenario, how you present the fly and what fly you present. The key is to get the fly in their strike zone and get them interested. This may require intermediate line and fluorocarbon leader to get to them. Personally I like bigger flies and slower presentations in deeper water. Now if the fish is deep in the water column because he got spooked then it’s a different story.
 

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Not looking for flies/spots/anything that would cause drama. Just looking for some 3rd party info on how y'all read tarpon either laid up or cruising the beach. I've heard that fish that are riding high and slow are more likely to eat than the fish that are cruising along in the deeper section of the water column?
I PM'ed you something to look at.
 

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In my guide days I would tell clients (mainly fly in fairly shallow water) that we were looking for 4H fish: High in the water column, hungry, happy and huge. Of course, many would have skipped that last qualifier about 20 minutes into the fight. :D

Just took this book for a spin yesterday... Thanks for the recommendation, great info and it was cool to read a book based in Pine Island and Charlotte Harbor ( my home waters)!
The Ultimate Tarpon book focuses on Southwest Florida (Boca Grande, Pine Island Sound) as the birthplace of tarpon fishing and big-game fishing in general. Started it last night and it's going to be an interesting read.
 

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I can't really comment but I do know that Andy Mills' book has a LOT of information about feeding fish in different situations and I don't think there are many people alive who know more about tarpon fishing than him.
 

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A lot of this is over thought.


A lot of it is encouraged to be over thought in order to sell crap.



Its a stupid fish, time on the water will have it sorted out pretty quick.
 

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A lot of this is over thought.


A lot of it is encouraged to be over thought in order to sell crap.



Its a stupid fish, time on the water will have it sorted out pretty quick.
Wow!
 
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