Sunday Classic / The Fight Isn’t Over When You Get a Tarpon Boat-Side

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Continue applying pressure on a tarpon when you get it to the boat. Photo Louis Cahill

By Kent Klewein

Catching a tarpon on the fly is a feat most fly fishers dream about but never experience.

Some fly anglers get lucky right out the gates, but for most of us, catching one of these beasts on the fly often takes several trips to accomplish. My good friend Capt. Bruce Chard is one of the most competent tarpon guides I know and has taught me a great deal about chasing the silverking. When he put me on my first 125 pound plus tarpon he made a point to let me know that the fight isn’t over when you get a tarpon boat-side.

Bruce Chard explained to me that many tarpon photography ops are lost as well as rods are broken because anglers stop applying pressure on the fish once their guide gets a hand on the leader. Tarpon are extremely powerful fish and challenging to handle. To help your guide seal the deal when you get a tarpon to the boat, continue applying strong pressure on the fish with your fly rod until your guide has a firm grip on the jaws of your tarpon. Otherwise you’ll stand a good chance at losing the fish at the boat, miss your photo  op and fail to properly revive and release your tarpon.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline 
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