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Top Tarpon Fishing Charters in Sanibel


  • Size 25 to 80lbs
  • Food Value None
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Tarpon Fishing in Sanibel

Sanibel has been described as the birthplace of Tarpon fishing. The first recorded catch on rod and reel happened right here in Sanibel’s Tarpon Bay way back in 1885 and anglers have been perfecting the art ever since. Sanibel Tarpon fishing is viable year-round, with a permanent population settling down in the island’s shallows. It is the yearly migration which makes the area famous, though, and its proximity to the famous Boca Grande Pass is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to big Silver Kings.

When should I visit?

The “summer migration” can be a bit of a misnomer here in Sanibel. The first big schools are often seen as early as March, and can stick about as late as October before finally moving on. During this time, fish and anglers take to these waters in insane numbers, with schools a hundred strong found in any depth of water. 
If you are after the biggest and meanest out there, the king of kings, then this is the a very special time and place to visit, but there is no bad time to target Tarpon in Sanibel. Even in the depths of winter, you can catch fish as big as 100 pounds here. If your priority is to fish in peace without worrying about other anglers spooking or hooking the best catch, wait for the yearly migrations to subside before heading down to Sanibel. 

Where will I fish?

Boca Grande Pass draws anglers like flies to honey every summer and has earned the nickname Tarpon Capital of the World. If you are around in the early summer months and want to witness one of the craziest events in inshore fishing, head to the pass and take part in the madness, as schools several hundred strong are met by an army of anglers wanting their slice of angling heaven. 
Sanibel has much more going for it than just one pass, though. Spots like Tarpon Bay are as worthwhile today as they were back in the 19th century, and the tidal waters of the Caloosahatchee River are the winter home for many resident Tarpon.

How will I catch them?

There are many ways to target Tarpon, but fly fishing is the favorite in these waters. Hefty 12-weight rods and big, three-inch-long Black Death flies make for the most challenging and enjoyable angling you could ask for. If regular tackle is more your style, beefy 50-pound tackle with spinners, plugs, or live Blue Crabs or Pinfish will have you hooked on a winner faster than you could believe.

How much will it cost?

The standard rates for Sanibel fishing charters are $100 an hour, with $50 or so knocked off the price of ¾ and full day trips. During high season, some charters will run specialist Tarpon trips with tackle, bait, lures and flies set up to make the most of the huge migration. This is well worth the money for experts, but a standard trip will do just as well for entry-level anglers, and will normally cost a little less.


  • Size 25 to 80lbs
  • Food Value None
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Sanibel Tarpon Fishing Seasons

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Tarpon fishing in Sanibel varies moderately throughout the year. High season is May to July. Low season is January to March and September to December. There is no closed season.

What People Are Saying About Tarpon Fishing in Sanibel

"Full day trip with Captain Marko"

Kevin Wolfer fished with GoliathFishing - Sanibel on October 6, 2017

Fun day with Captain James Marko even though it was extremely windy and rainy. Captain Marko put us on some nice tarpon and I caught a nice one and lost a few as did my partner. I would definitely book another trip with Captain James Marko.

"Half day with captain James "

Robert House fished with GoliathFishing - Sanibel on August 10, 2017

We had a great time my wife caught a 2 foot shark and I caught a 6 foot tarpon had a great experiance

Fish Species Similar to Tarpon in Sanibel


Based on 9,489 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

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