Sanibel Island Tarpon Fishing



Sanibel Island Tarpon Fishing


Tarpon fishing is an exciting activity that can provide a challenge even for experienced anglers. Here are five tips to help increase your chances of catching more tarpon during your Sanibel fishing trip:

  1. Use the Right Equipment: Tarpon are strong fish that require sturdy equipment. Use a heavy-duty rod and reel, strong line and leader, and a sturdy hook. Tarpon have bony mouths, so it’s important to use a hook that is sharp and strong enough to penetrate their tough skin.
  2. Choose the Right Bait: Tarpon are known to be attracted to live bait such as crabs, mullet, and shrimp. It’s important to use fresh bait that is lively and active to entice the fish to bite. You can also use artificial lures such as topwater plugs, soft plastics, and jerkbaits to mimic the movements of natural prey.
  3. Fish at the Right Time: Tarpon are more active during certain times of day and tide cycles. Early morning and late afternoon are often the best times to target tarpon, as they are more active during low light conditions. Tarpon also tend to feed more aggressively during incoming tides.
  4. Look for Signs of Tarpon: Tarpon can often be spotted rolling or “daisy chaining” on the surface of the water. Look for these signs of activity to locate areas where tarpon are likely to be feeding.
  5. Practice Catch-and-Release: Tarpon are a catch-and-release species, so it’s important to handle them with care. Use a de-hooking tool to remove the hook, and minimize the time the fish spends out of the water. Support the fish’s weight when lifting it for photos, and release it as quickly as possible.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of catching more tarpon during your Sanibel fishing trip. Remember to always follow local regulations and guidelines for fishing, and practice ethical and responsible angling practices.


2022 Tarpon Season is gaining steam

After months and months of high winds, Tarpon have kept their timetables up an gaining in numbers every day. Make your date with a Silver King now.

Sanibel & Captiva Tarpon Season Gaining steam

Very impressive numbers of fish have been in the area for some time but the late cold front shut them down for a bit.  Now with water back up to 78-80 degree’s the fish are on a binge.   Here is a fish caught in Redfish Pass, on Friday before weekend boat traffic stomped all over the fish.

Tarpon April 2020

heck of a fight released safely.

January 2020

January 2020 Fishing has started off with a bang, once the winds died down on the 14th, we were able to get out in the gulf and get away from some of the extreme low tides in the bay making many area’s inaccessible.

Having seen sargasso weeds in the bay when out still relatively fresh,  I knew some offshore near blue water had a good chance of being near shore.   It didn’t take long to prove that out, as Bonita and Kings had moved in as close as 5 miles in schools.

Fishing with a Wisconsin crew we caught 10 hard fighting Bonita within a few hours and left them biting.   There were large schools roaming, and milling about, somewhat uncommon.  Normally you will not see them or you will see the water churning as they are chop through schools of bait.   Unpressured we were able to easily stay on them.  I should rename the boat “One Last Cast” we sure do enough of them and more often than not, it’s productive.

One Last Cast Sunset Double Hookup Sanibel Captiva Offshore

One Last Cast Sunset Sanibel & Captiva Offshore

Happy Bonita milling around

School of Happy Bonita, milling around.

Doubles one of 3 on the day

3 doubles on Bonita makes it very exciting. One of our strongest fighters a member of the Tuna family.






2020 Sanibel & Captiva Fishing Reports

As we begin a new decade, I’m optimistic that we have turned a vitally important corner in the management of our waters and fishery.   We are under an emergency closure on the harvest of Redfish Snook and Trout due to the severe red tide outbreak of the last 2 years.

We are hoping it will be able to be lifted by May of this year, but many are advocating for extending the closure.   I lean heavily towards catch and release fishing though I enjoy fresh fish from time to time, and understand the desire to keep some fish for dinner.

Controlling massive freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee and nutrient pollutant runoff from fertilizers and pesticides are also a major component.   Sending water south and east as well where the south has been starved for water for too long in Florida Bay has finally come to fruition despite prior managers insistence it could not be done.

The amount of bait and juvenile fish and creatures of all types in the bay is very encouraging without massive water release killing the spawn every month.   While man can mitigate some of the impacts, Mother Nature is the ultimate arbiter on rainfall amounts.  We have been in a very wet period for some time now as El Nino has hung around but is Neutral as of now.

Noaa 3 Month forecast 1st qtr 2020

Seasonal Outlook for the 1st quarter of 2020

So Happy New Year and Decade!

Capt Paul

December 2019

Winter finally showed up with a vengeance in early Nov.  As of this writing we are on our 3rd cold front and water temps are in the low 70’s.   Mackerel, both King and Spanish are available, we had a push of Blue fish that just arrived.

Mangrove Snapper

Mangrove Snapper are biting

Redfish are here including some large schools of Bull Reds.  Black Drum, Ladyfish, Trout and a the Pompano Run is full swing.  This is a perfect time for your Sanibel Fishing Charter.

Happy Holidays & Seasons Greetings to all.

Capt Paul Primeaux

Fall Fishing is going off!

After a tumultuous Summer, finally after 2 storms, our waters are free of red tide.  And right on schedule the, fall bait run is in full swing.  Fishing this time of the year rivals spring, and some say is much better.

Inshore, the redfish that have been scarce all summer are finally here in numbers.   Near offshore, there have been massive schools of bait fish that have large explosions in them from a mixture of Sharks, Mackerel and Tarpon just blowing up in the schools.

No finessing here, anything moving is eagerly eaten.

We have just had our second cold front, (1st real one) and the water temps were knocked down to 71.2 degrees, 10 degrees in a few days.  Its warming back up fast, so call and  Book your trip now!

Capt Paul.


Winter to Early Spring Pattern this week Feb 14th.

After a colder and windier than normal that saw many catches of Black Drum and Sheepshead, the fronts have finally slowed from a 5-7  day pattern to  7-11 day range.  In addition they are not as intense as they were.    This has lead to water  warming from the low 60’s to mid 70-‘s in just over a week.

That’s fairly typical for water get back to a more normal temp, stimulating bait-fish to return and the  fish to feed  ahead of the spring spawn.   Valentines Day is a good reference point for temp normalization in a cooler then normal winter. Note the chart below from SCCF’s Recon site shows on Jan 31, 58 Degree water! Now into the lower to mid 70’s in just 2 weeks.

The first Tarpon are being spotted  as they begin to work their  way down from a winter stop in the River and up from the 10,000 islands and the keys.  Sharks are not far behind.

Book now for Tarpon starting  in  April through June.  Snook Season reopens March 1st and smaller ones are starting to show up in the passes now.







Happy New Year 2018 from Capt Pauls Charters

2017 is in the books.  Looking back on the year brought some phenomenal fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities as well as new friends reconnecting with some older friends.   I’m grateful for time I’ve been able to spend with folks on the water from all walks of life, from very young to some last wish trips.

What will 2018 bring?   Although we face challenges with water quality as many area’s of the country do, the ecosystem is resilient given a chance to recover it does and relatively quickly.   Irma and the prior record rains resulted in Lake Okeechobee heavy releases until Dec. 1 this year.

At this writing we are at 68.00 Water temperatures which are not bad.   Last year much of the season the water temps were about 72-74, so its a bit cooler.   Trout and Reds don’t care much about that and Sheepshead a winter staple prefer it.

I will keep the site updated more frequently with recent catches and whats happening now out there.

Happy New Year and God Bless All.  May you all have a fantastic 2018.

Capt Paul Primeaux

Captain Pauls Sanibel & Captiva Charters


Snook July 2017

Boy holding a snook

Snook are hitting good.

Summer time fishing has been going off big!  The Snook are going off, big and small.  Red Fish are making their presences known all around.  Mangrove Snapper are hitting good, Trout, all the cast of characters, sharks, Mackerel, Cobia, Permit are enjoying abundant supplies of bait fish.

Check Back for more frequent updates.

Book your trip now with Capt Paul!