Baby tarpon are much smaller than the adult fish. Adult tarpon may weigh as much as 200 pounds, while the baby tarpon that are found in the tidal creeks, inlets and backwaters will often weigh between 10 and 30 pounds. The smaller the tidal creek will usually result in smaller tarpon. Some of the very shallow creeks are home to large numbers of tarpon, but few will be above 5 pounds. The tidal creeks, inlets and backwaters that hold some deeper water are capable of producing some bigger fish up to 30 pounds. You can also find these juvenile tarpon in shallow bays, along mangrove shorelines and in the canals near the docks.
Catching these juvenile tarpon can still be quite a challenge. Like the adult fish, you can expect a better bite at night during stronger tidal changes. Lighted docks will also attract plenty of tarpon. These baby tarpon will spook easily, so make sure you approach the best fishing spots quietly. Some of the better baits to use are live finger mullet, pinfish, crabs and jumbo shrimp. Artificial lures will also work. Soft plastics, small swimbaits and flies are some of the more popular lures that anglers use to target juvenile tarpon. These smaller tarpon may not be as strong as the big adult tarpon, but they can be a blast on spinning tackle and fly fishing rods. A 15 to 20 pound tarpon is still a good-sized fish to catch inshore and the baby tarpon will usually jump several times during the fight.