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The Palolo Worm Hatch and Huge Tarpon on Fly

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

We are lucky down here in Homestead, FL and the FL Keys because we have a year round fishery for all gamefish species. There are, however, seasons that offer exceptional and unique opportunities for some types of fishing.

Palalo worm hatch tarpon on fly Homestead, FL
Palalo Worm!

Such is the Palalo Worm hatch that takes place in South Florida when the moon, tide, and sunset all align perfectly. While small, these little worms are like oysters and candy all rolled up into one for huge tarpon. When they hatch, the tarpon behave like deer in a rut.

I'm no scientist, but these worms are rumored to have a central role in the tarpon migration, bringing the fish down the FL coast all the way past Key West, before gorging on these little buggers and turning around to make the long trip back North.

The good news is, you don't have to wait for the stars to perfectly align to catch a tarpon on fly or even on conventional spin tackle here in Homestead, FL, the FL Keys, and South Florida overall. It really is a year-round fishery!

But if you are lucky enough to book one of these trips of a lifetime to fish the worms, boy you are in for a real treat! These tarpon come out in massive numbers around dusk to both delicately slurp and unabashedly crash these tiny delicacies. The setting is very comfortable, and I have spots to fish where there are few if any other boats around. It's the perfect combination of peace and chaos that defines tarpon fishing.

Nice Tarpon Taken on Worm Fly

Above is satisfied client Reece Panter showing off an impressive fish he brought to the boat on a Palalo worm imitation fly. Reece is one of the best freshwater trout fishing guides in the Appalachian Mountains. You can find him here. But when he can get a few precious days off, he loves to come down to battle tarpon on fly in Homestead, FL.

Reece will tell you that presentation to these giants is everything. But when you perfectly cast your fly to that 100 pound tarpon and the line comes tight, all the hard work is worth it. And these fish get up to 150 pounds and sometimes even larger! To have the best chance at catching one, make sure you practice your fly casting in the wind at home in your yard. This way you are ready to catch a tarpon on fly in any conditions.

My mentor once told me that "fishing is a life's body of work". If you haven't added a tarpon on fly to your repertoire, give me call and let's get after one. It's a critical accomplishment for all fly anglers, and South Florida is the foremost destination in the world to fish for them. Bring your buddy or wife along, and let's have a blast.

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