With warm tropical weather throughout the year and beautiful scenery everywhere you look, there are plenty of reasons to take a trip to Puerto Rico. One of the biggest draws to the island is the fishing–more specifically the opportunity to catch a tarpon. Tarpon are a bucket list fish for many anglers because of their stunning size, flashy looks, and explosive strikes which have earned them the nickname “the Silver King.”
Puerto Rico’s location is in the perfect spot for tarpon in search of warm water in the cooler months, with enough prey to keep them around for most of the year. The diverse inshore waters consist of flats, bays, inlets, and canals which are ideal spots for these fickle predators to hunt or hide. Puerto Rico is teeming with tarpon and offers unmatched opportunities to cross it off your bucket list.
Tarpon are fickle predators that quickly switch from crushing baitfish in the shallows to holding up tight near cover and ignoring everything. To catch a tarpon, picking the right lure and presentation is crucial to getting a bite. These fish are wary of many lures because they have eyesight that has been estimated to be 10,000 times better than ours. The best way to figure out what they want is by having a variety of options and switching it up. Soft plastics tend to hook up better with tarpon because the single hook can get a better hold in their tough mouth. With a little bit of trial and error you can start to dial in on what the tarpon are looking for.
While tarpon inhabit the inshore waters surrounding Puerto Rico, two areas have the habitat, guides, and resources to put you on the fish of a lifetime. Whether you cast a spinning reel or a fly rod, San Juan and Carolina, Puerto Rico are the best spots on the island.
Carolina, Puerto Rico is just east of San Juan, making for easy travel and quicker access to less pressured waters. Just a short boat ride from the docks can put you on prime fishing grounds, including inlets, rivers, and shallow backwaters, which have all been known to hold massive tarpon. If you want to take your shot at catching the silver king without going to the busy city, check out our Carolina Tarpon Trips.
With explosive fishing during the day and plenty of nightlife to enjoy when you get back, San Juan has everything you need to make it a once in a lifetime experience on or off the water. San Juan benefits from Puerta De Tierra, Isla Grande, and a laundry list of other points and islands that create stretches of protected water. Prey use these spots for cover, which inevitably brings in tarpon. Casting in calm water and no wind is especially helpful to anglers who want to catch a tarpon on the fly. If you want to test your skills and take on one of the most powerful inshore fish, check out our San Juan tarpon trips.