Fishing Giant poons in Nicaragua
The Nicaragua jungle poons, which you might hear referred to as Sábalo or Tapam, is a beautiful creature. Trophy tarpon fishing is what most guests come for. We call it “Royal Sabalo” but there are all sorts of other outstanding fishing to be enjoyed. Rainbow bass and trophy snook live all of them, around the lodge, as well as machaca, tilapia, and gar. (See a complete list of Jungle River´s species)
The fish are big. Enormous. And there are plenty of them. To be fair, “Royal Sabalo” is fair about every angler’s odds, noting that the fishing is tough. Known for their gleaming silver scales and their insane acrobatic tricks, landing a Nicaraguan jungle poon is a fight, which is why it’s so popular among experienced anglers. Once hooked, the fish can efficiently fight back for hours.
Tarpon that stays year-round in the river are known as Tapam, and while some of them may not be as silvery and shiny as their ocean-dwelling brethren, are as acrobatically talented. It appears that some of them never leave the lagoons and its estuaries, preferring to gorge themselves on the abundant schools of mullet, sardine, snook, mojarra, guapote, guavina and shrimp that spawn here.
Tarpon fish travels over a thousand miles in the open ocean, and they can dive down to 400 feet to lay eggs, you can find adults OFFSHORE or NEARSHORE over wrecks, reefs, and ledges. They thrive in the perpetually warm waters of the Caribbean.
They live primarily in coastal waters, lagoons, and rivers, and can grow into monster adults weighing up to three hundred pounds. Males can live up to fifty years, and females up to eighty. But Atlantic Tarpon lives to that age because they are pretty smart. We are trying to protect them.
In fact, everything about this fish is amazing. In the very early morning, you can see their enormous silver bodies pushing out of the water to gulp air. The tarpon has a unique trait – it can fill its bladder with air to breathe, like a small lung. Once it has extracted all the oxygen from the air, it expels it in one great sigh, causing these bubbles I had seen. It’s a genuinely surprising evolutionary trait that allows the fish to thrive in even low oxygen waters. We are convinced that our surroundings have one of the largest population of tarpon in Central America.
If you have never experienced one of these massive poons blasting out of the water after being hooked you will not believe your eyes the first time you see it! Watching one jump out of the water with its famous acrobat’s skill is gorgeous. Often the Tarpon will leap 12 feet and jump 5 or 6 times before you get him near to the boat for the very first time.
The sound the silver body makes as it slaps the water is thrilling. If you have had the pleasure of experiencing the unique thrill before, then you can join me is saying “hold of for the thrill of a lifetime!”
That’s the real allure of fishing for Tarpon. Hooking one of these giant beauties is akin to wrestling a bear. Besides their size and strength, jungle poons are champion jumpers, known for deliberately throwing themselves against the water to try and dislodge the hook, or tossing the line like a bear with a chew toy. Whether you’re fishing the Caribbean or the river, the sound of tarpon jumping and beating the water is sure to fill you with excitement. Battling these creatures is an unforgettable experience you’ll be sure to come back for again and again.