Jun 17th, 2015
If a saltwater fly fisherman were to design the “perfect” fish they would make it prolific, super aggressive, hard fighting and insanely high-jumping so we could always get a good look at them. Perhaps they would give it a huge eye-ball and make it look like it was machined out of a block of aluminum. Because machined aluminum is cool! Perhaps they would give it the ability to breath air so it could live in warm unoxygenated water and make it extremely long lived, perhaps even 100 years or more. Then give the females the capability of producing millions of eggs so we had lots of them to catch. They would design the fish to taste poorly and build them with lots of bones so people didn’t eat them and thus we had more to catch. Lucky for us and amazingly enough Mother Nature has already created the perfect fish and it is all of these things and more. She created Megalops Atlanticus, aka The Silver King, aka the tarpon!
The Yucatan Peninsula on Mexico’s eastern coast offers fly angler some of the most diverse and productive baby tarpon locales found anywhere in the world. The lush mangrove lined shorelines and brackish estuaries of the Yucatan provide important rearing grounds for juvenile tarpon. Fish can be found in large numbers from 5lb – 25lbs during May – September which make for perfect floating line quarry for 8wts and 9wts.
It’s a mistake to think that these “babies” are pushovers. Sometimes it’s true, schools from 100 – 300 fish can be found moving across open flats and catching them can be a lot like taking candy from a baby, but more often than not they can be a real challenge. Even the most experienced and seasoned saltwater angler will test their skill with precise casting at moderate to longer distances. Tarpon are highly sensitive (with regard to the moon, tides, wind, and barometric pressure) and ancient creatures that have been swimming around since before the dinosaurs roamed the earth. There is a lot that has to be right to catch a tarpon on the fly, but when it all comes together, the experience can be one of the most exciting and rewarding angling accomplishments you can have. If you’ve not dedicated a trip exclusively to chase baby tarpon, I urge you to give it a try! Here are a few of our favorite destinations to find these beautiful and challenging fish.
Give Dylan Rose a call to discuss setting up a dedicated baby tarpon trip this season! 800.552.2729
Tarpon Cay Lodge
Tarpon Cay Lodge is truly the standard in world-class fly fishing for “baby” tarpon. Ranging in size from 5 to 25 pounds, these fish reside in open water turtle grass flats and mangrove lined lagoons, creeks, and bays. Accommodations are simple with home cooked Mexican cuisine, fantastic service and a highly experienced guide staff.
Isla Del Sabalo
Isla Del Sabalo is a remote and rustic tarpon camp located in a very remote and seldom accessed area of the Yucatan Peninsula. This is a very small, off-the-beaten path operation focused on an exclusive fishery of baby and juvenile tarpon. The area is expansive with a ton of fishable terrain and the fish are not always easy to find. Isla Del Sabalo is more of a high risk/high reward destination, but if you are up for the adventure and are looking for home-run potential, then this is the place. We have experienced truly mind blowing tarpon action at this destination, the likes of which is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
The city of Campeche is a beautiful old world, colonial city and a UNESCO world heritage site. We pair beautiful hotels at this destination with top notch baby tarpon action for Campeche trips. Non-anglers are welcome and Campeche always offers a magnificent travel experience along with some fantastic opportunities for baby tarpon.
This quaint Mexican beach town offers guests an attractive and laid back beach town vibe with great cantinas, restaurants, and lodging in every price level. Good opportunities for baby tarpon exist in the lagoon as well chances for large migratory tarpon in season. Non-anglers will appreciate the amenities of this cool little town as well.
Pesca Mahahual is an off-the-beaten-path destination on the southern Yucatan near the border of Belize. Clients stay in a beautifully restored villa and focus on the cenotes and rivers of the southern Yucatan along with Chetumal Bay.