Is Tarpon Fish Edible? Make Fish Cakes with Salmon-Like Tarpon

Tarpon is commonly known as a sports fish because of its strength, stamina, and long term fighting ability during fishing. Tarpon fishing is one of the most exciting experiences you can have in Florida.

Tarpons are usually large, more than 4 to 8 feet in size, and are rarely eaten due to the predominance of white bones.

Is tarpon fish edible? Yes, the tarpon is edible, but it is not easy to hook the big jaws of the tarpon with a fishing rod. 

From our recent experience, there are some similarities between salmon and tarpon in terms of taste. Some people believe that if cooked well, it can taste like salmon.

Is tarpon fish edible or not?

Is tarpon fish edible or not

Yes, tarpon fish can be served as a fish platter or fish cake item but has no significant food value. Tarpon comes with a strong fishy smell and has far too many bones to be eaten. 

Therefore, it is considered only for catch and release.

The reason people don’t like to eat tarpon is because of poor taste. Even the flavor isn’t even worth the effort involved in catching the fish.

However, tarpon is still popular as a top-class fishing item as it fights back and refuses to surrender to the hook line until exhausted.

Fishing enthusiasts all over the world consider it a remarkable achievement to catch a big tarpon. But they are reluctant to eat it personally.

Why is tarpon fish so popular?

Tarpon is popular for its acrobatic exposure when stuck to the tarpon hook. It goes wild, shows its strength even with the hook inside, jumps out of water, and shakes its head forcibly to split the hook.

This is why tarpons are mostly known as sports fish in the US and anglers find it changing and enjoyable to catch tarpons.

The fish is also called “Silver King” due to its shiny silver skin and athleticism. According to the world record size tarpon caught by BlacktipH, an adult tarpon can be four to eight feet in length and weigh up to 350 pounds.

Where can you get the tarpon fish?

Where can you get the tarpon fish?

Tarpons can be found in both saltwater and freshwater. 

The fish loves to roam over the warmer coastal waters mainly Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, west indies, etc. Besides, it can also inhabit freshwater in lakes and rivers.

What is the best tarpon fishing location in the US?

Florida is very popular due to the high availability of tarpon fish on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there is a small town named ‘Tarpon Springs’ which is a great place to visit in Florida.

How to make fish cakes with tarpon?

Although tarpons are not delicious to eat and used in fishing games more than a food item. Instead of cooking or frying tarpan, it is better to make fish cake with tarpon.

However, anglers feel great joy eating the fish they catch. Remembering the hard work of tarpon fishing, it is not bad to get a taste of achievement.

In this regard, making fish cakes with tarpons is the best way to enjoy tarpons. Here are five steps to prepare delicious tarpon fish cakes,

Step – 1

First of all, you need to debone or poach the tarpon to ensure a better grind for the fish cakes. When deboning, take a bowl and fill it with 2 quarts of chicken broth then place it in the oven and boil over high heat.

When you are done with deboning, add the fish filets to the bowl and steep for 10 minutes.

Step -2

Bring down the filets and give them a few moments for cooling. Now you need to separate the absolute meat from the bones carefully and grind it with a food processor.

Step – 3

Take the grind into a bowl and include all the necessary ingredients in it. Don’t know what ingredients you should use in the fish cakes? You can consider the following,

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Mustard
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

After taking all the ingredients into the bowl, you need to mix and make a paste.

Step – 4

Now take a bit of flour and  effuse on the working counter. Grab a little amount of the past in your hand, roll it into a ball and flatten it with a little pressure. You need to follow this for the whole mixture for the remaining.

Step -5

At this stage, a moderate amount of oil should be poured into the pan and used to fry the fish cakes. You can set multiple cakes to speed up the process. After frying, you can enjoy the redolent and crispy fish cakes made with tarpons.

What is the best bait to catch tarpon?

What is the best bait to catch tarpon

Since the tarpon is full of life and energy, you should have enough bait in your basket and choose the best bait for the best results.

Mullet is considered the best bait for hooking tarpons

One can also use pilchards/herring, pinfish, ladyfish, crabs, or shrimps regarding this. Some anglers use sardines to entice tarpon.

Is tarpon hard to catch?

Tarpon has a large stiff bone jaw and its acrobatic behavior makes it difficult to catch tarpon. It is so difficult to hook a tarpon that only 37% can finish the job of catching the tarpon and have some pictures.

Newcomers and even semi-professionals sometimes need guides to help to control this crazy creature. 

Tarpon got some benefits of having a rough, huge face and the teeth are unhelpful called villiform.

Whatever, it can jump 10 -20 feet across the water and can often free itself from the hook while jumping, shaking heads, and trying to get out of it. Therefore, it requires expertise and experience to fish tarpon for everyone.

Final Thought

So, it is clear that tarpons are edible but not accustomed to eating because of their bad taste and spiny muscles. It is best to use tarpons for hook, line, and sinker if you want to get the real thrill of fishing. 

Tarpon fishing can sometimes be risky because of its uncertain behavior.

Especially when released from the hook of the angler, it can inadvertently cause an accident. 

So, you should be careful while playing with the silver king, otherwise it can be dangerous for you. However, eating tarpon would not be a good idea but you can take it just for taste.

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