How to Catch Oxeye Herring (Tarpon)

About the Oxeye Herring:

Everyone calls these fish Tarpon, however, their correct name is OXEYE HERRING (Megolops cyprinoides). The true TARPON (Megalops atlanticus) an Atlantic cousin to the Oxeye Herring which grows to about 2400mm and can weigh up to 160kg and is one of the worlds legendary sportfish.

The OXEYE HERRING can grow to about 1500mm and weigh 5kg. This fish is also a good sportfish it is rated by A.N.S.A. (Australian National Sportfish Association) with a fighting factor of 1.6 (Barramundi is 1.5, Marlin is 1.2).

They are a freshwater fish but need the saltwater to spawn and can be caught there as well. The OXEYE HERRING can exist in stagnant water by rolling at the surface gulping air into its air bladder. They inhabit mainly Tropical coastal waters and rivers.

Even though their flesh is not toxic they are full of little bones, which makes them not suitable for eating. They are a slimy fish with a strong odour. Good sport on very light tackle.

How to catch them:

Oxeye Herring is not an easy fish to catch, you only land a fish every 10-15 strikes because if you don’t keep the pressure on, you will lose them. If the hook goes into the top jaw you have a chance to land them. Fish for them in the warmer months as they are very rare to catch in Winter.

They are a surface feeder so they take a lure that is working just under the surface. This is where the Dreamfish Wildthing lure comes into it’s own. Work your lures systematically through the area you are to fish. If there are lily pads, target them first with probing casts along the edge and then work your way into the deeper water.

Vary your retrieve by first working your lure SLOWLY, then increase the speed until you find what they want. Try a steady straight to the rod retrieve and then mix it up with a lift and drop action.

These Herring are very acrobatic, jumping quite a few times during the fight and this is when they throw the lure. As mentioned earlier, if you hook onto one, make sure you keep a good amount of pressure on the fish so it doesn’t throw the hook. As their throat is covered by a bony plate, which makes it hard for a lure to embed itself.

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Happy Fishing,

Remember: Dream it, See it, Catch it.

Written by Graham Cumming 2010