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June 14, 2017

Important Things To Know About Fishing Tarpons In Gambia

My Gambia posts are some of the most popular on the blog (who knew so many women are being scammed by bumsters?!), so this week I bring to you a post about one of the Gambia's most popular tourist activities- fishing! Written by Ted from Gray Wolf Line. 

Important Things To Know About Fishing Tarpons In Gambia

Gambia is located in West Africa and completely surrounded by Senegal. This country is rich in various things, but most importantly the best thing about it is the river Gambia. This river meets up in the Atlantic ocean and provides wonderful fishing opportunities. 

But Tarpon fishing in Gambia is indeed the most popular among fishing enthusiast. 

Things To Know About Tarpon

Tarpon is by far the most popular fish in Gambia, and they are huge in size. They range from 15lb to 300lb. In Gambia, Tarpon is quite popular, and it can be caught by using various fishing methods. Various anglers from around the globe are coming to Gambia to grab their prize of the biggest tarpon.

One thing you must know about Tarpon is the fact that they are very acrobatic in nature. They can challenge you and your skills. So, it's better to catch them in shallow waters. But if you have little or no experience in fishing with the best ice fishing rods then you are going to face a hard time catching Tarpons.

Best Time To Catch Tarpon

Though the climate of Gambia is quite the same throughout the year, during the summers, the weather can be humid and quite hot. The best time to catch Tarpon is from October starting to May end. During this time you can probably get the biggest Tarpons.

Some of the biggest Tarpons are found in Gambia, and if you know about tides, then you can surely catch some great tarpons.

Lures And Baits For Tarpons

One of the best things about tarpon is the fact that they will eat any bait thrown at them. Some people also say that they are the dustbins of the river because they are always hungry. Surely with a size like that, you can expect them to be always hungry. 

If you want to catch Tarpons, you can use Herrings, Croakers, Live baits, Cut Fish Baits, Blue Swimmer Crabs, Dead Baits, Cuttlefish and Shrimp, and Bonga. These things will make sure that tarpon is coming towards the trap. 

Apart from these baits, some of the most popular lures that you can use are Rapala CD 16/18, Surface Floaters, Deep Divers, Coast Hawk, Fly, Spinners and poppers.

While choosing the bait, make sure that it is presented in a way that it can be swallowed completely by tarpon. Tarpon is also known to create troubles when they are hooked on. They start jumping from one end to other to free itself. 

It takes skills as an angler to make sure that they can catch the heavy tarpons. Tarpons have the habit of swallowing the bait instead of chewing it. So a tap-tap effect can be felt when they are hooked. 

Line, Tackle And Other Things Needed For Tarpon Fishing

If you are setting your eye on the large Tarpons who size from 100lb to 300lb, then you will have to use rods that weigh around 35-50lb.

  • Apart from the rods, you will have to multipliers of good quality that must weigh from 35-50lb, and it must be loaded with monoline.
  • You will also need swivels of 95-110lb. Moreover, you will have to use an abrasive mono main line of 110-145lb. Hooks should be strong, and it should be a circle in shape.

If you are aiming for the smaller Tarpon fishes that weigh from 10-95lb, then light tackle can be used.

  • Usually, 13-21lb tackle is used to catch lighter tarpon fishes. Apart from that, you will have to use Mainline that weighs around 25-35lb.
  • Mono leader that weights between 65-100lb work well when you are aiming for smaller Tarpons.
Important Things To Know About Fishing Tarpons In Gambia

The only problem with smaller Tarpons is their speed. As they are pretty small, they can swim faster, and it makes it quite hard to catch them instantly. 

Even if they are hooked on, they can free itself quickly. Most of the times, you will find yourself trying too hard to catch smaller Tarpons.

We recommend spinning outfits or Jerk bait rods for catching smaller Tarpons along with Spool reel. But if you are aiming for bigger Tarpons then boat rod of 8-9ft works best. Moreover, you will need a multiplier that can hold line weight of 35-55lb.

The main line that should be considered for fishing tarpon should be Monoline or Braided line. The weight should vary from 25-55lb. Along with that swivels should weight from 25-55lb as well. 

Live baits work well along with circle hook if you are considering heavyweight Tarpons. 


So, if you are planning a trip to Gambia just for fishing, then you are indeed doing the right thing. These details will help you a lot, and we hope that you do catch a big tarpon! 

Most of the local fisherman practice the catch and release fishing method. But it totally depends on you if you want to keep it or not.



 Ted Thomas


Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas from GrayWolfLife, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.


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