A compressed, oblong body that’s covered with thick silvery scales. Their mouth is large and superior, with the lower jaw protruding out from the rest of their face. They have large eyes.


Juvenile tarpon grow up closer to shore, swimming in salt marshes, rivers, or tidal pools. As they get older they move out into more open waters of the ocean, but can often be found in brackish or even freshwater environments as well.

State Record

230 pounds, Thomas Gibson, 1993

Fishing Tips

Hook up some shrimp, crab, mullet, or pinfish bait. Anchor your boat, and then toss out your line, with a weight if tarpon are swimming deeper. Soft plastic baits work as well, as do big flies. Because tarpon must return to the surface for air, always keep an eye out for splashes.