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SaltReels
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Hey everyone, just a quick question. Is Boca Grande truly the "best spot" for Tarpon fishing in Florida? Any better spots in the state?

Thanks
 

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Squid technician
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Plenty of great spots for Tarpon all throughout Florida. Seasons change the bite in different locations of course, but there are a ton of good spots that are a lot less crowded. The backwaters of Port Charlotte offer great Tarpon fishing and a greater range in the size of the fish to be expected. The spring bite along the beaches outside Tampa Bay from Anna Maria Island North to Dunedin are also highly touted. I don't have enough experience fishing for them throughout the year in those areas so I can't really suggest the best times overall.

Of course there is always the Florida keys. This is my favorite place to fish for them. You can catch them nearly year round, from 10lbs to 200lbs, in canals 6ft wide to open ocean-side flats and on dead, nasty baits to fly tackle. This is where I started Tarpon fishing on family vacations years ago and its still one of the prettiest places to fish for them in the country.
 

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Absolutely not! Tarpon fishing in Boca Grand is very seasonal and insanely crowded during the season. It's high visibility is due to the big tournaments. You can catch Tarpon anywhere else in FL without having to worry about playing bumper boats with 100's of other boats in that pass.

As Chris stated, Keys are definitely a top pick for Tarpon fishing year rounds. The fish are also spread out enough that you have some elbow room. But again, they're catchable up and down both coasts seasonally or year round depending on the specific location.

Good luck,
Alex
 

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Plenty of great spots for Tarpon all throughout Florida. Seasons change the bite in different locations of course, but there are a ton of good spots that are a lot less crowded. The backwaters of Port Charlotte offer great Tarpon fishing and a greater range in the size of the fish to be expected. The spring bite along the beaches outside Tampa Bay from Anna Maria Island North to Dunedin are also highly touted. I don't have enough experience fishing for them throughout the year in those areas so I can't really suggest the best times overall.

Of course there is always the Florida keys. This is my favorite place to fish for them. You can catch them nearly year round, from 10lbs to 200lbs, in canals 6ft wide to open ocean-side flats and on dead, nasty baits to fly tackle. This is where I started Tarpon fishing on family vacations years ago and its still one of the prettiest places to fish for them in the country.
QFT, Boca Grande is popular because it was just how things worked out for the TV coverage and other variables. There were even caught around the east coast of Boca Raton when I was down there a while back. Plenty of equal spots compared to Boca Grande around the state. Just gotta find out their migration patterns.
 

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I have fished Boca Grande 4 times and just not really impressed. Yes, hooked a lot of fish and better than average hooked to landing ratios on most trips. Between the crowds and sharks I had rather fish somewhere else. The mouth of Tampa Bay has the same type fishing and not quite so many boats or sharks. There are plenty of tarpon from Crystal River to Naples. Personally I had rather run the beaches. Even the beaches outside Boca Grande Pass have just as many fish. Same amount of opportunities and a lot more fun because you don't have so many boats to deal with and you get a lot more jumps because the water is shallow. In BG they mostly just go deep and don't normally jump near as much.

Boca Grande fish about 3 years ago.

 

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I fished Boca a few years back and it was so crowded that it was no fun. We talked our captain into snook fishing instead, which seemed like a relief to him.
 
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