Caribbean Tarpon Central
Where the northwest corner of Trinidad reaches out to practically kiss the coast of Venezuela sit four small islands; tidal currents surge through channels in and around them, providing happy feeding grounds for tarpon and happy fishing grounds for what is arguably the Caribbean's best silver king action. June through November is all prime time to fish Trinidad, which offers both quantity and quality. Capt. Frothy De Silva says a decent half-day of fishing should provide six to 12 hookups from fish of 40 to 100 pounds and often larger. Nearly every season, De Silva says, a dozen or so tarpon topping 200 pounds are released. After a mere 10- to 15-minute run from the Trinidad and Tobago Yacht Club, De Silva has live baits out - "goggle-eyes, snappers, grunts, anything we can sabiki up." Then he puts out a six-line spread in what he calls "uptiding," deploying two 30s on outriggers fished far back; two 50s on downriggers at 20 and 40 feet; and two flat lines. De Silva positions the boat into the current and coaxes tarpon up by throwing out live chum. "It's been a very successful method for me." The roiled waters are far too opaque to spot fish beneath the surface, but it's not unusual to see hundreds of tarpon rolling in a long line. Trinidad's Tarpon Thunder Tournament (www.ttgfa.com) takes place each August. Major airlines fly daily into Piarco International Airport. For more information, visit www.hardplay.net or www.tarpon-fishing-i.com/trinidad-tobago.
Photo: Rick DePavia