While its name might suggest otherwise, fishing in Tarpon Springs is as diverse as it gets. From Tarpon and Snook to Snapper and sponges (more on that later), there’s something here for almost every type of angler. In fact, you’ll be surprised by just how unique this little city is.
For example, one of the first things you’ll notice is the Mediterranean look and feel of the whole place. This is because Tarpon Springs has the largest percentage of Greek Americans out of any other place in the States. Enjoy some next-level hospitality, try some excellent Greek food, and head on out for some top-notch fishing.
Top Catches in Tarpon Springs
Whether you scour the coastal mangroves for Redfish, hit the Gulf in search of Red Snapper, or anything in between – Tarpon Springs has you covered. While the possibilities are almost endless, we settled on these top five fish species you can have a go at in these waters.
When a city gets named after a fish, you can bet that’s the one we’re starting our list with. Naturally, the “Silver King” is the undisputed ruler of the inshore waters and he’s no pushover. Notorious for their acrobatics and dogged determination to break your line, these shiny beasts will make sure you break a sweat if nothing else.
Summer is peak Tarpon season, and that’s when you can expect a whole bunch of anglers from all over the country to drive down south and bow to the King. A word to the wise: stick with live bait like mullet, crab, or shrimp if it’s your first time going after Tarpon. When you get a feel for how they behave, you can try a fly fishing setup for the ultimate challenge.
While not as flashy as its royal counterpart, Snook is one of Florida’s favorite game fish for a reason. Fun to catch, available year-round, and easy to find all over the local fishery – what more can you ask for?
As with Tarpon, fishing for Snook is catch-and-release only in this part of the country, all the way down to Venice and Cape Coral. They’re popular with fly anglers, but regular light tackle fishing with live bait or jigs works just as well. You can easily spook them if you’re not careful, so try to be as stealthy as possible.
You can’t really talk about inshore fishing anywhere on the Gulf Coast without paying respect to the good old Red Drum. Nothing brightens up a day like reeling in a big Bull Red first thing in the morning. The best time for going after these delicious fish is anywhere between March and November.
Redfish is a great option for anglers taking their first steps into the wonderful world of fishing. Head out into the shallows, bring some shrimp or crab, and make sure to use long casts so you don’t spook your future lunch away. When it gets cold in the winter, expect them to retreat into deeper waters of at least 4 feet deep until springtime.