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ShawnAlan21

Need Florida Tips - Specifically for Florida Gar & Tarpon

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Does anyone have any good tips for these 2 specific fish  in the Everglades? I can consistently pull in most any other fish there and I can pull in Alligator Gar from Louisiana pretty regularly now. Yet I can’t find or catch the Florida gar. I’ve targeted them on a couple trips and maybe have caught 2 or 3 small ones total. Same with tarpon. I hear they are elusive but I’ve caught just 1 and have also had several trips targeting them. I usually get frustrated and switch to bass and snook to get some money in my net. Im confident I have the all the gear I need and I listen to people suggest the “hot” spots, and I try fishing peak times on fish chart.  I must be using wrong tackle/lures at the wrong times/weather. Anyone got more pointers? In the mean time, I’ll keep trying!

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have caught the gar in the middle peg of the three pegs in a line fishing 12 to 15 inch deep to the edge of the lillys in front of the peg on large cut 

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I catch the tarpon in the saltwater peg. Off the sock cast out to the right of that little island as far as you can towards the trees in the distance. For bait use 4/0 - 6/0 hooks shiners and shrimp work real well recommend 20 lb setup minimum because they get pretty big and really can fight. If using float put leader at 45 inches that’s what I have luck with. Occasionally you will get a snook or a red drum but that’s where tarpons are real active. If using a lure the medium spoon 4/0 1 1/4 oz red or yellow spoons work real well with stop and go or lift and drop on speed 2. Crankbaits work real well too at speed 1 or 2 . Different depths work I tend to catch them with the 8ft yellow or blue cranks. For gar I have caught them all over the place. Frogs and top water work real well.the little 3/0 crank bait is really good too. On the peg with the 3 channels the channel on the left and at the land to the left of the middle channel is loaded with them. For bait small minnows with a 2/0-4/0 hook work well at 35-45 inches with bobber. The gar though are all over. Can get them over by the sink boat as well. Hope this helps. Shocked you haven’t caught a gar fishing for bass. You get them a lot when fishing for bass. Shouldn’t need big line for the gar 8 lb should be ok for them I wouldn’t use more then 12 lb test though. Hope this helps.

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I catch both during the peak times mostly during the day but have fought both outside those times except tarpon at night. I haven’t caught  one at night. Gars though very active in evening peak and night peak but any peak time should work. 

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Well that trip was quite a bit better. Didn’t kill it, but did manage to catch several decent Gar then hooked up on a nice 26 lb tarpon on my 12 lb setup which was an awesome fight. Gonna keep trying different bits of all the advice and work on consistency now. Thanks again everyone for the help.  

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Very good 26 lb tarpon nice fish. Great fight on the 12 lb test. I like to use light line as well. My rule of thumb is rod should be the strongest weight then the reels max drag then the line. I brought in a 24 lb tarpon with 8lb test a prima 9000 and a Jigwinner 8’10” and had an incredible fight. The gars May come when you aren’t trying for them. I think if you go over to the peg with the car and cast in that little channel you will get one soon enough. 

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