Book Now

Tarpon Bay

Lee County, Florida.

Tarpon Bay ends in Sanibel, Florida.

2306601.90 miles (3712117.08 sq kilometers)

About The Tarpon Bay

About Tarpon Bay, FL

Tarpon Bay is a mangrove estuary in the Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which Florida’s Sanibel Island promotes as its main attraction.

The bay owes its name to the first tarpon caught by architect William H. Wood from Chicago with the usage of rod and reel in 1885. This significant event has also led Sanibel Island to be bestowed the title “Tarpon Capital of the World”.

Since Wood’s success in catching tarpon, many have continued to visit the bay in order to experience catching the fish species themselves, making fishing one of the most in-demand recreational activities in the entire park.

Today, Tarpon Bay is visited for its tarpon and its tranquil and clean surroundings. 

Tarpon Bay Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Tarpon Bay, FL

Although Tarpon Bay may be best known for its tarpon, the estuary is also a dwelling place for many other different fish species. Some of the most targeted fish in the area aside from tarpon are the snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout. In addition, the bay also serves as home to a small population of mangrove snapper, flounder, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, pompano, grouper, and even sharks. The abundance of marine species in the area is much credited to the organizations in Sanibel Island and residents who make sure that the ecosystem in the bay is well-balanced and taken care of as they teach and encourage others to understand that the fish species should be allowed to repopulate within the area. It is a goal that is not difficult to achieve because some fish species in the area cannot be consumed, such as the tarpon itself, which can be found amongst the catch-and-release type of fish. Now, when it comes to being able to catch these fish species, it is important to note that the usual baitfish (e.g., shrimps, crabs, sardines, anchovies, etc.) will be helpful.

It will take more than the baitfish to be able to reel these fish in. Some of the most popular fishing techniques that could be done are drifting, sight fishing, riding the tides, and live pilchard fishing techniques which are all conducted in the inshore area.  

Tarpon Bay Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

The peak fishing period in Tarpon Bay is every Friday until Sunday at about 2:30 P.M. onwards all year round as some fish living within the area are available to be caught for the entire year. Some other fish like the famous tarpon, however, are best available during certain seasons, namely spring and summer.

The weather by the bay is often warm and sunny for the entire year, except during summer when some days can be rainy. While these days may sound like they could be a hindrance, rainy days prove to be great times for fishing, an extra current can be observed from the bay which would prompt fishes like tarpon and snook to be caught much more easily.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

The peak fishing period in Tarpon Bay is every Friday until Sunday at about 2:30 P.M. onwards all year round as some fish living within the area are available to be caught for the entire year. Some other fish like the famous tarpon, however, are best available during certain seasons, namely spring and summer.

The weather by the bay is often warm and sunny for the entire year, except during summer when some days can be rainy. While these days may sound like they could be a hindrance, rainy days prove to be great times for fishing, an extra current can be observed from the bay which would prompt fishes like tarpon and snook to be caught much more easily.

Tarpon Bay Fish Species

All About Fishing in Tarpon Bay, FL

Although Tarpon Bay may be best known for its tarpon, the estuary is also a dwelling place for many other different fish species. Some of the most targeted fish in the area aside from tarpon are the snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout. In addition, the bay also serves as home to a small population of mangrove snapper, flounder, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, pompano, grouper, and even sharks. The abundance of marine species in the area is much credited to the organizations in Sanibel Island and residents who make sure that the ecosystem in the bay is well-balanced and taken care of as they teach and encourage others to understand that the fish species should be allowed to repopulate within the area. It is a goal that is not difficult to achieve because some fish species in the area cannot be consumed, such as the tarpon itself, which can be found amongst the catch-and-release type of fish. Now, when it comes to being able to catch these fish species, it is important to note that the usual baitfish (e.g., shrimps, crabs, sardines, anchovies, etc.) will be helpful.

It will take more than the baitfish to be able to reel these fish in. Some of the most popular fishing techniques that could be done are drifting, sight fishing, riding the tides, and live pilchard fishing techniques which are all conducted in the inshore area.  

Snook

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 12 - 29 Pounds

Length: 16" - 50"

Redfish

Habitat: Onshore, Flats, Backcountry, Nearshore

Weight: 10 - 45 Pounds

Length: 30" - 61"

Sheepshead

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 14" - 20"

Spanish Mackerel

Habitat: offshore, onshore, nearshore

Weight: 8 - 120 Pounds

Length: 20" - 72"