3 Of The Best Lures For Catching Big Tarpon (VIDEO)

By: Luke Simonds on January 15, 2019
Found In:

best lures for big tarpon

The answer to the “best lures for big tarpon” question will most likely vary depending on who is answering the question.

And just like most other lure questions, the most important variable to consider above lure choice is the location of the feeding zones for whichever species is being targeted.

But once fish are found, having a good lure for the job is of course important too.

And selecting the best one for encounters with big tarpon can be tough because the lures for them are often large and expensive.

So instead of trying to answer this question that came in recently with a specific lure, I wanted to simply share a few that worked well for me last year.

And then seek out other suggestions from you about which lures you’ve found to work for tarpon too.

Best Lures for Big Tarpon

artificial lure for big tarpon

Here are 3 attributes that I consider when loading my tackle box for some good options for any big tarpon that I may come across while out on the inshore and nearshore waters.

  1. Running Depth: Lure must run at the proper depth based on where the tarpon are feeding
  2. Size: Lure must resemble something that they are likely to be feeding on
  3. Castability: Lure must be able to be presented to the tarpon without spooking it

So my theory is to always have a few lures that all cast very long distances while having slightly different depth coverages and sizes.

This way, I can generally find one that works in most situations.

My Favorite Lures For Big Tarpon

  • DOA Baitbuster (4 ft to 10 ft depths – smaller profile)
  • Livetarget Mullet (4 ft to 10 ft depths – larger than DOA Baitbuster with more vibration)
  • Spooltek (5 ft to 14 ft depths – larger profile with vibrating tail)
  • DOA Swimming Mullet (10 ft to 25 ft depths – smaller profile, but it is good for covering the deeper zones)

But then there are days like this when they all seem to work:

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

Learn more about the Salt Strong Fishing Community


These 4 lures are surely just a small selection of choices that can be used to target big tarpon.

Please take a moment to leave a comment down below to share your favorite lure to pull out when you come across some big tarpon.

I’m planning to target them more this summer, so I’ll gladly beef up my tarpon lure collection based on your feedback.

Note: Please share this post with your friends who enjoy tarpon fishing too so that they can participate in the discussion too.

Fish On!

Leave a Reply

9 Comment threads
14 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
SaraShannon McNallyRyan JacobsLuke SimondsJoseph Koziol Recent comment authors
newest oldest
Notify of

Nice video
for more video: Microsoft Toolkit tour and a Northern Lights minibus tour. Keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to see the lights again. Saw them in Yellowknife, Canada five years ago. Amazing.

Joseph Koziol

Thanks for the exciting video Mr. Simonds. I am assuming the leader is tied directly to the lure. What is the recommended knot?

Jon Domann

Have you tried Hogy lures for tarpon? They have a 6.5″ paddle tail that I like for big snook. It kind of looks like a spooltek without the retractable hook. Definitely cheaper and still pretty durable.

Shannon McNally

I’ve noticed the live target is better when you trim off the dorsal fin near the hook point, in areas you don’t need the weedless factor. It’s seemed to limit my hook sets on big tarpon when I left the fin. The bait buster is a awesome tarpon bait but the hook needs to be sharpened to really put it to them, with lighter rod action.

Ryan Jacobs

Mustad makes a replacement hook for the baitbuster. It’s called the Ultrapoint Bullet Jig Head. Trust me, my fingers will tell you it’s VERY SHARP. Pull out the supplied hook and insert this one and you’re ready to go.

Shannon McNally

Good deal thanks

Stephen Chapman

Tarpon in January? or was this filmed a while ago? Pretty sweet getting that many bites throwing arties!

Scott Rispaud

That was great. I too like the DOA mullet and a few years ago before my shoulders were torn up, hooked a lady fish on the DOA. I got it within 10 feet of the beach when a monster poon ate the lady fish and started striping line on my ci3000! Needless to say, wasn’t expecting that kind of action. Can’t wait to do that again now that I’m healed 90 percent. You got my blood pumping!!! Thanks for that post!

Bob Ferguson
Bob Ferguson

I found the Stu Apte “Black Death” the perfect lure for fly fishing for large Tarpon.

Guy Leveille

Awesome video Luke! Man, I’ve been dreaming of catching a large Tarpon since I was a kid! Loved watching you get them on the line! What size reel were you using? I have a Penn Fierce 2 size 6000 which is currently my largest spinning reel. I think that will handle up to around 100lbs? I made a note of the lures, thanks! I was smiling just watching you catch those awesome fish! Can’t wait for the day when I get one on the line! Thanks for sharing!
Best regards and tight lines!


I’ve had good luck with the live target mullet too unfortunately they are expensive to replace when toothy critters attack.