Tarpon season is here at Pawleys Island. Tarpon began to show up in enough numbers to start targeting them during July, but as we roll into August – it’s now primetime. Tarpon fishing requires specialized gear and a knowledgeable angler – this article is designed for those looking for a tarpon fishing guide in the area.
When Are Tarpon In Pawleys Island?
Tarpon arrives during their yearly migration along the east coast of the United States. For the Pawleys Island coastline, this generally begins in June and lasts as long as October. All of this is determined by the water temps. Tarpon are looking for specific water temps and will begin to travel back south as the waters cool. The perfect water temp for tarpon is 79f.
What Brings Tarpon To Pawleys Island?
Pawleys Island is located along the coast of southern South Carolina. Tarpon migrate yearly to accomplish a few things. These include staying comfortable, following food, and heading out to spawn. The yearly migration takes place because all three of these aspects come together.
The result is that schools of hundreds of tarpon can be found along the coastline of Pawleys Island. This area is near the dead center of the end goal of the migratory path along the U.S. coastline. These fish start traveling north from the Florida Keys in mid-Spring and can travel as far north as Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.
Wherever you find anglers targeting tarpon, you will find one key aspect that they all share. Deeper coastal waters that connect with backcountry estuary systems. Most of those backcountry estuary systems are river-fed ecosystems that draw in baitfish, in turn, drawing in hungry tarpon. Pawleys Island is backed to just such an estuary, or in this case, a coastal watershed. This coastal watershed is Winyah Bay. This is where most of the area tarpon fishing takes place.
What To Expect When Tarpon Fishing
Tarpon fishing takes a knowledgable angler who follows the patterns of the species while they are in the area. Though, at the peak of tarpon fishing season finding them on most days can be quite easy. However, it is not every day that fishing for tarpon is like this. So, the first thing to expect is the hunt.
Once tarpon are found, there is a few tactics that must be considered – and these may change depending n what the tarpon are doing at the time. But, before getting started – heavyweight tarpon fishing gear must be prepared. These fish can easily hit 150lbs – or more. Simple inshore fishing equipment will not suffice.
If tarpon are in a feeding frenzy, an angler can many times simply cast their bait presentation right into the mix and get a bite. While tarpon that are gently rolling along the surface may require more finesse. “Leading the fish” will most likely work in almost every case – this basically means having your presentation in front of the path of the fish where they will eventually meet.
The fight itself is where many will experience heartbreak. These fish have hard mouths that make hook setting difficult, they fly out of the water and perform aggressive flips and head shakes, and then go on drag smoking runs. It is a chaotic moment where the angler will either have the fish come off – or the stars align and you get your “leader grab” after a muscle-destroying fight.
How To Find A Pawleys Island Tarpon Fishing Guide?
There are a few tarpon fishing guides in the area that dedicate to tarpon fishing during the migration. In August this is in full swing and the trips fill pretty fast. Captain RC Ferdon here at Harvest Moon is a local Pawleys Ialdnd tarpon fishing guide who specializes in the migration.
The best way to plan is to utilize a guide who can show you real-time availability, and then give you the ability to lock your date – around the clock. The site here at Harvest Moon Fishing is set up to do just that. Head over to The Reservations Page to see available dates and lock yours in today.