Summer's Silver Kings

Warming water draws migrating tarpon north from Florida

1-img_0150-1.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

While spring marks the peak tarpon season for many Florida anglers, July and August draw good populations of big adult ’poons to waters of the northern Gulf and along the southeast U.S. coast. In Georgia, where I live, these fish are caught near the mouths of sounds as well as several miles offshore. I'm planning an early August trip with Capt. Greg Hildreth to explore some new ways of targeting tarpon in Georgia. Stay tuned for that web exclusive and whet your summer-tarpon appetite with these images from Georgia, Florida and the Caribbean. By Greg Hildreth
2-img_0108-1.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Capt. Greg Hildreth prepares to release a tired tarpon boat-side in Georgia waters.By Greg Hildreth
3-dsc_2966.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Kevin Barker from Yellowfin Yachts fights a late June tarpon in a southwest Florida grass-filled estuary.By Chris Woodward
4-2006-06stuartinshore010.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Florida plays host to many resident tarpon, fish that — for whatever reason — do not migrate. The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is studying tagged fish to determine the many mysteries of their life cycles.By Chris Woodward
5-tarponjump1.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Tarpon thrive throughout Caribbean waters, including along the east coast of Nicaragua, where we found this fish. April and September are peak months there for tarpon fishing.By Chris Woodward
6-nicaragua-tarpon_10.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Eyeballing its antagonist or gulping air? Tarpon have a lot of tricks up their (figurative) sleeves.By Chris Woodward
7-nicaragua-tarpon_15.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

First look! An impressive leap by a bullish fish. Anglers can only hope that the initial glimpse is not the last.By Chris Woodward
8-tarponjump2.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

As the fight nears its end, the jumps become less vertical and less acrobatic, but still impressive.By Chris Woodward
9-2006-06stuartinshore019.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Even smaller fish, like this Florida east coast tarpon handled by Capt. Sam Heaton, demonstrate impressive strength and beauty.By Chris Woodward
10-2006-06stuartinshore026.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

DOA's Mark Nichols and friend. Nichols makes numerous soft-plastic baits perfect for tarpon fishing.By Chris Woodward
11-dsc_2967.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

How does a tarpon keep its equilibrium with back flips and twisting maneuvers that could confound a gymnast?By Chris Woodward
12-dsc_0019.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

Yellowfin's Kevin Barker and Capt. Phil O'Bannon prepare to release a tarpon near Boca Grande.By Chris Woodward
13-2006-06stuartinshore007.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

A tough, low-slung bottom jaw and armor-like scales give the tarpon a prehistoric look.By Chris Woodward
14-dsc_4406.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

While many anglers studiously avoid lip-gaffing fish, some who run boats with high freeboard carefully use the tool to help revive tired tarpon.By Chris Woodward
15-dsc00466.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

In his bay boat, Capt. Greg Hildreth can easily hold a tarpon nearby while removing the hook and reviving the fish.By Greg Hildreth
16-woodward-shark-1.jpg

Summer's Silver Kings

A Georgia tarpon-fishing staple: big bonnethead sharks that come into the chum slick.By Chris Woodward