THE ATLANTIC TARPON LIFE IN NICARAGUA
What is a Tarpon? The King
The Atlantic tarpon fish (Megalops atlanticus) inhabits coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and rivers. Tarpons feed almost exclusively on schooling fish and occasionally crabs. A tarpon is capable of filling its swim bladder with air, like a primitive lung. This gives the tarpon a predatory advantage when oxygen levels in the water are low. Tarpons have been recorded at up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) in length and weighing up to 161 kg (355 lb).
The Megalops Atlanticus is one of the most sought-after species in sport fishing. Their capacity to jump high, their hard-to-get character, its enormous size and its spectacular fight has earned the fish names like The King or The Silver King. In the northern part of the Caribbean side of Nicaragua, calling them Tapam in miskito language.
It is a fast, agile, and mysterious fish. It evokes an incurable fascination for it. We admire Tarpon very much, have nothing but passion and respect for it.
We have lived through unbelievable moments catching this fish and we have always considered each one as a true adventure. Catching it is such an exciting and complex experience that it requires continuous learning.
How long do Tarpon live?
The Atlantic tarpon behavior in this area of the Caribbean is more lively than in other places and is one of the reasons that its size can grow up to 300 pounds. The male’s lifespan is between 40 and 50 years and between 70 and 80 for the females.
Atlantic Tarpon Lifespan
The fact that this fish is not acceptable for human consumption makes up most of the studies on this fish about preservation. Such studies have resulted in interesting data that help us better know the fish.
For example, it lays its eggs at high sea level so that during hatching the larvae can go near estuaries and mangrove swamps where they can be in areas without oxygen. That way, they can feel safe from predators and can develop up to 3 or 4 years of age, which is the time when they begin eating other fish, crabs, shrimp, and worms.
When the fish reaches the age of 8, it’s considered to be in its adult phase and ready to undergo great The medium temperature for this fish is around 23.8 degrees Celsius 75 Fahrenheit. The fish avoid areas where water is cooler and tend to go near the coast.
Another interesting characteristic is that they can breathe air. Up until now, it was mistakenly known that they would emerge from the water to breathe air whenever they were in rivers with less oxygen.
This fish moves in a very specific way before mating. This movement, in which they move in circles, has been called “Daisy-chaining”. Many fishermen believe that it is the moment when the females release their eggs to be fertilized by males.
It is hard to know because when this happens, there are hardly any larvae left neither on the mating location nor near it others say their migrations seemingly are only limited by water temperature because Atlantic Tarpons prefer water temperatures of 72 to 82 °F; below 60 °F they become inactive, and temperatures under 40 °F can be lethal. However, scientists and experts do not fully agree with this hypothesis.
Because of this, it is still considered a mystery, but Atlantic Tarpon spawns in the deep sea.
This is a yellow fin Tarpon, very difficult to see. There are albino fishes but few others have yellow coloration with spots in front of their faces and fins. Others are more black and others more silver. In Nicaragua we have continuous population with a great genetic diversity thanks to the protection of its environment.
Habitat of the Atlantic Tarpon
However, they behave the same way when they are in oxygenated waters and new research seems to have proven that this is because of a behavior learned during their younger phase. This conduct has been called “ Rolling Tarpon “ because of the advantage the fish gets when trying to catch it. They can get oxygen quickly and obtain it through the air and along its bronchial capacity. This makes catching them extremely difficult.
Where are Tarpon Found?
Atlantic Tarpons can be found anywhere from the coast of North Carolina in the U.S to the Republic of Angola; there has also been some sightings off the coast of Portugal.
Tarpon is found all year in the Río San Juan and in the Indio River.
Atlantic Tarpons are also found in the Caribbean sea of Nicaragua. There are some that do not travel and can be found in nearby lagoons. The size of those found in the San Juan River frequently surpass 2 meters and 140 pounds, some 200 and even some that grow up to 300. In the Indio River there are a number of them that swim and live all year-round, some found in the highest areas of the river.
Fishing the Silver King in the nearby areas of the Rama Garden Fishing Lodge is an exceptional experience. We can fish them in the main rivers, in their river heads, in lakes lakes or in the Caribbean Sea.
Atlantic Tarpon Migration
The migration of the Atlantic tarpon , fish has been tracked and has been discovered that they can travel up to 1,609 kilometers 1000 miles. These studies have shown that the fish are capable of reaching depths of 400 feet where it is believed to be an ideal place for mating due to the water pressure which helps females lay their eggs.
These fishes migrate long distances but there are also many of them that only solely move to their nearest areas. That is why the theory related to its reproductive migration seems to be mistaken and it is believed that the Megalops Atlanticus swims longer distances when in search for food.
On the other hand, the population that we have on our Nicaraguan coast has a tendency to migrate north and south of Costa Rica. They swim on the San Juan River until they reach the Cocibolca Lake and all along the river basins and their swamps around the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua where we are.
PROFESSIONAL FISHING GUIDES IN NICARAGUA
We are a multidisciplinary team and each of us have dedicated ourselves to different areas within the professional tourism industry and sport fishing.
Some of us are specialized in technical fishing for rivers and lagoons and others have opted for costal and deep water fishing. In any case, our team is dedicated to the evolution and development of our TARPON fishing techniques that we employ.
Our passion is fishing the Megalops Atlanticus, for whom we have the utmost respect. And even thought we are focused on this one type of fish, there are other species here we can find and practice our love for fishing.
For our entire professional careers, we have learned techniques used in other parts of the Caribbean where Megalops Atlanticus habits. For example, we not only have excellent clients in the United States but also good friends.
The same with Cuba, where we have some family. In Rama Garden Fishing Lodge we have applied these learned skills and adjusted it to our environment until we have reached a high level of effectiveness, unbeatable anywhere else in the Caribbean of Nicaragua.
At the same time, we have maintained relationships with other hotels in Costa Rica that specialize in fishing the Megalops Atlanticus and we have shared our passion with any professional and Tarpon enthusiast who has stayed with us. Aside from having an excellent background in the art of fishing, our chief guide is an expert in raft and motorboat driving and maintenance, which is a crucial skill for this sport.
FISHING JOURNEY NICARAGUA
Our fishing journey begins at dawn and can last up to 8 hours. The client decides the amount of time. Contrary to many other hotels north of the river, we never drag bait nor we fight the fish with motorboat engin. Another characteristic that distinguishes us from other places is the area we are in.
Our area allows the client freedom to choose the exact locality he or she wants to fish so that his or her experience is fulfilling and is what the client is looking for.
In Rama Garden Fishing Lodge we are surrounded by different kinds of water mass in both the rivers and lagoons. Perfect areas for Jungle Tarpon Fishing. One must remember that the fish habitat changes each season. At the same time, we are located in between the delta of the Indio River and the San Juan River, a short distance from coral reefs and parts where the water is clear and we can develop different fishing techniques unknown to other hotels.
In the year 2010 we brought our first fishfinder and two years later, we equipped our boats with professional equipment that allowed us to know about key fishing spots and conducted a study to find the most effective spots to fish according to each season. Today we keep using the fishfinder and we have plans to update our boats with Simrad equipment. This will allow our clients to test first-hand years of working experience.
The fishing day includes any drinks non-alcoholic that the client may need, in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner. We propose three different types of sport fishing days: off the motorboat, off the coast and off the rivers and lakes. It’s worth noting that these three types of fishing days are equal in their access to the Silver King.
TYPES OF SPORT FISHING
Suitable for any person who wants to start, or any person who has experience fishing the Tarpon in both in thesalt or rivers. This is not the same fishing for 80 pounds Tarpon than managing an over 100 punds fish. For us the thing starts when you can hold over 120 pound fish safe with the knowledge of our guides.
We counsel you so that you have an unforgettable day. You will be provided with: a 26-feet Caribbean boat equipped with a Lowrance fish finder, a professional guide, and the necessary equipment so that you can feel all of the adrenaline when you catch the Silver King. Not to mention all the possibility of catching any other species in Caribbean waters.
We will take you to where the fish are and we will show you the best way to catch the Megalops Atlanticus. In this kind of fishing, we will place the rods, the spools, the line and hooks. Generally, live fish or sardines are used. The hooks used are circular and medium heavy tackle is used. The goal is to return the fish in adequate time and the very best experience for our customers.
Atlantic Tarpon lures
The Caribbean offers opportunities that not many people know how to take. Some people think that just by fishing here a few times and accomplishing some expected goals, they know everything there is to know about the Caribbean Sea. But that is a mistake.
We recommend going back and repeating the experience with us because we have developed and incorporated new and truly efficient techniques so that this sport is experienced with maximum intensity.
The elements related with this kind of fishing have certain costs and it is the responsibility of the client to cover such costs. We advise specifically on the right kind of equipment, all according to the kind of fishing the client wants to practice. We offer personalized attention. Our technical fishing director will guide you so that your stay at Rama Garden Fishing Lodge is completely satisfactory. We emphasize that our guides are perfectly knowledgeable on the types of water mass and the areas where Tarpon are more concentrated according to each season. Obviously, it will be each fisher and their art that will make the experience fruitful. Equipment is not included.
Fishing Tarpon on fly is highly recommended, and according to experts in the matter, it is the most effective technique to catch the Megalops Atlanticus. We agree, the reason being is that the fish seems to show preference for smaller Baitfish.
Generally, Tarpon fly fishing has shown good results in certain areas around us. We advise on the minimum requirements necessary to fulfill such activity. We must note that the area where we fish, we depend on days when the sea offers us ideals conditions, which is one of the most effective techniques. Equipment is not included.
Whether it is Tarpon or any other kind of species, there are extraordinary possibilities to fish from the beach nearby our Hotel.
Tarpon Fishing from the beach is one of the most exciting ways of fishing and veteran fishers recommend practicing it at least once in your life. We are fortunate enough to be able to provide with long stretches of coastal area.
The equipment requirements are a bit different from the equipment used in motorboats. Naturally, our guides are more than capable to indicate where the best spots are to fish. Equipment is not included.
NICARAGUA FISHING SEASON
Fishing season in Nicaragua is all year long. The only limitations are the ones that come with sharp changes in weather. If we had to choose a month, we would say it begins in September. However, last year in February was equally wonderful. Fishing seasons sometimes depend on external factors that make catching Tarpon easier. For example, it is easier when Tarpon swims near the coast or concentrate in a specific spot.
This is why we advise you to contact us and ask us about our expectancies. This way, we can choose the best time and make an accurate and better plan for your fishing trip to Nicaragua.