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Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Tarpin Handling

Keep Silver Kings Reigning

Use Best Fishing Practices


  • Use non-stainless, non-offset, barbless circle hooks
  • Use single hook rigs
  • Use tackle heavy enough to land tarpon quickly and minimize fight time by matching tackle to conditions and targeted fish size
  • Use a dehooking tool to quickly and easily remove hooks


  • Tarpon over 40 inches MUST remain in the water by law, unless in pursuit of a state or world record using a tarpon tag
  • Tarpon smaller than 40 inches should only be handled with wet hands and be supported horizontally if removed from the water
  • Work quickly to minimize handling time and exposure to air
  • Keep fingers away from the gills and eyes
  • Avoid dragging tarpon over the gunnel of a boat, or over rocks or railings


  • Release fish as quickly as possible
  • Revive lethargic tarpon ensuring water passes over the gills from front to back or hold it horizontally in the water to allow it to pump water through its gills
  • If a shark appears while you are fighting a tarpon, consider breaking the tarpon off as close to the hook as possible so it has a chance to escape before it is too tired
Images of anglers properly handling and releasing tarpon back into the water.

Additional Best Fishing Practices for Tarpon

  • Take efforts to shorten future fight times if tarpon appear lethargic during release
  • Move to another fishing location if sharks are in the area
  • Avoid fishing for tarpon from bridges or piers as this requires specialized lifting gear or cutting the line with long amounts of line trailing behind the fish, leading to entanglement of other marine life including birds

Visit to learn more about fishing for tarpon in Florida.