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7 Lake Tarpon Fishing Tips for Catching Largemouth Bass

While it may be named after another popular sport fish, Lake Tarpon is primarily known for being one of Florida's top largemouth bass fisheries. Many Lake Tarpon fishing guides and visitors target trophy bass on this 2,500-acre lake that's located near the city of Tarpon Springs. Warm climate, palm trees, big bass -- what's not to love about fishing Lake Tarpon?

If you're not sure where to fish, or which baits to use when Florida lake fishing, don't worry! These ten freshwater fishing tips can help you catch largemouth bass on Lake Tarpon.
 

  1. You can try dragging a Texas-rigged soft plastic 10-inch ribbontail worm along the bottom, or slow rolling gold willowleaf spinnerbaits around drop-offs or edges of deep water. When rigging ribbontail worms, pair with a bullet weight up to 1 ounce depending on depth and wind conditions.
  2. If you're fishing Lake Tarpon with beginners or kids, try rigging live wild shiners or live shad underneath a popping cork for consistent action. Both live baits should produce plenty of bites from big bass.
  3. During the early fall and winter months when bass chase schools of threadfin shad across open water. As you might imagine, this is the ideal time to use shad-imitating lures.
  4. For year-round success, try flipping dark-colored soft plastic lizards or craws in junebug or watermelon colors into the vegetation or along the canal edges.
  5. If you want to plan a Lake Tarpon fishing trip during the late summer months, you'll have to switch up your strategy. During this time of year, bass will school up offshore near structure such as humps and ledges. Try using lipless crankbaits as search tools to help you locate the schools of bass.
  6. Keep in mind that lake conditions will change due to weather. Check an updated Lake Tarpon fishing report online or stop into a local tackle shop. You'll find that advice from local anglers can be incredibly helpful.
  7. If you are trying to decide which Lake Tarpon fishing spots to start with, try shallow canals and shoreline areas near heavy vegetation first. Move to the deeper areas (8 to 10 feet) on the lake as air temperatures rise. Once you switch to deeper part of the lake, use your sonar to locate any changes in bottom composition.

While these Lake Tarpon fishing tips aren't relevant to tarpon fishing Florida, they should help you find a few Florida-strain largemouth bass that will make your trip worthwhile. Be sure to check the Florida freshwater fishing regulations before you go, and read up a few more lake fishing tips for an even better chance at success.


Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.