Every summer one of the most epic migrations takes place off Florida’s east coast. Schools of massive tarpon slowly work their way north from the Florida Keys up the coast, wreaking havoc on schools of bait and burning up angler’s drags all along the way. Eventually these tarpon make their way to the stomping grounds of the crew from Salty Roots, located off the beaches between the infamous Sebastian Inlet and Cocoa Beach. It’s off these beaches that the Salty Roots crew chooses to target these pre historic creatures from their kayaks and paddleboards.
Nothing more than 12 feet of roto molded polyethylene and fiberglass separate these anglers from 150-pound tarpon, seven-foot sharks, and whatever else lurks beneath. You won’t find thousand dollar sonar or GPS setups on their kayaks and paddleboards. They prefer to keep it simple and efficient. A usual set up only includes a rod and reel, 6ft cast net, 5-gallon bucket, and a GoPro to capture the insanity. They target beaches that hold large schools of menhaden or mullet. This style of fishing isn’t for the faint of heart, as the crew often launches through surf that can build as big as five or six feet.
More often than not the tarpon effortlessly drag them miles from their initial launch point, which makes for a grueling paddle back in. They prefer to fish the early morning and late afternoon bite when the tarpon are most actively feeding. Early in the season strings of fish can be seen cruising on the surface, making for incredible top water eats. As the season progresses large numbers of tarpon will corral bait and put on an aerial display as they bust through the tightly condensed bait balls. See for yourself in this incredible video, self shot with GoPros and edited by Sean Strahlo of Salty Roots.
Featured Paddleboard: 12′ Bote HD
Featured Kayaks: Islander Caster 12.5′ and West Marine Pompano 120
Filmed with GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition and GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition
Official Salty Roots Website: http://saltyrootsapparel.com
Featured Anglers: Sean Strahlo, Capt. Ryan Hambel, Doug Hambel, Michael Camili, David Howering, Will Duncan, and Josh Goodyear