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May 05, 2010

14 of the World's Top Tarpon Spots

14 top spots to fish for tarpon, from Mexico to Africa

11. Homosassa, Florida

Clear, Shallow Flats

Though less well known than Boca Grande, about 150 miles to the south, the Homosassa/Chassahowitzka area can be a hotbed of tarpon activity, spring through fall. Even when tarpon are thick, the vast, pristine Chassahowitzka Reserve may remain largely deserted. "Sometimes, we fish without seeing another boat all day," says Capt. William Toney. At times, the best tarpon action will be in the Homosassa River in pools as deep as 18 feet. Most often, though, this is also a great sight-casting fishery, over outside flats in a few feet of clear water. As in the Boca area, look for an 80- to 120-pound average; Toney's biggest to date was just shy of 200. He caught it on one of the top Homosassa silver king producers - not live bait, but a Bomber Long "A" plug. D.O.A. Bait Busters and Swimming Mullet, and MirrOlure MirrOdine XLs also rate as top producers. For fly guys, a Toad in chartreuse/yellow or black/purple gets results. At times (particularly in the spring), cobia can make very welcome incidental targets on the same flats. For more information, visit www.homosassainshorefishing.com.

Photo: David McCleaf