Get In Shape For Tarpon Fishing




“It only takes 4 minutes, but if done right it can be very painful.”

Podcast Synopsis

I got a question from a listener about how someone might get in better shape so they could enjoy their Tarpon trip much more. It might seem silly to some to think that fishing requires fitness, but most people don’t stand up all day in the hot sun. Leg strength, lower back strength, and proper nutrition and hydration can go a long way to helping you to enjoy your trip much more. I had to maintain my fitness to be able to guide 320 a year in the Florida Keys. Much of what I did can apply to the seasonal traveler to be able to simply enjoy their trip more. If you find this article interesting check out How To Extend Your Guiding Career and Primitive Travelers Survival Guide.

Most of the clients that come to the Florida Keys and other destinations are not prepared to be standing all day so leg strength becomes very important. Simply going on a walk, or even putting on a weighted backpack, will help a lot. If you could progress to walking 3 miles with a weighted backpack before your trip then you should be able to stand on a rocking boat all day without a problem. Another way to improve leg strength is step up onto a high stair or cooler. Additional work for balance can be performed on a BOSU Ball which will prepare you for both, respectively, stepping up onto the deck and for the rocking of the both.

Think about the things you do in a typical day and compare it to how active you will be on your flats trip. Do you stand up all day? Are you constantly doing step ups, fighting fish and battling a rocking boat? I know you aren’t trying to win a triathlon but you have been waiting for this trip all year so you want to make the most of it. Doing some prep work for the type of movement you will be expected to do will go a long way to helping you enjoy your trip more.

While you are on location, make sure you take care of yourself while you are out on the boat, stay hydrated, sleep a lot and have a blast catching some fish.

Let me know what you think of this podcast and shoot me an email if you have any questions -

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See you next week - no excuses,

-Tom Rowland


I've been going through a lot of emails

lately -  some of them are kind of a mix

between how-to and physical Friday.

People want to know some things about

getting in shape but they also want to

know some things about fishing and one

of the emails that I was sent was “could

you tell me some things that I could do

that would get me in better shape to go

down on my annual flats trip”


sure -  absolutely there's lots of things

to think about and there's lots of ways

that you can start training to do a

little bit better on that flats trip.

What is one thing that you always

do while flats fishing?

You're gonna stand up all day long in a rocking boat .

Okay so most

people aren't used to standing up all

day… in fact most people sit all day so a

lot of the clients that come down are

not equipped or ready to be standing

all day doing anything much less on a

rocking boat.

So leg strength is

super-important you can do things like

you know as simple as just taking a walk

doing a little bit more walking .

You can

put on a backpack with put some books in

it put some bricks in it put whatever.  We

call it rucking you can do that you know

if you got up to where you were walking

three miles with a weighted backpack

before you came down your trip

versus not doing anything your legs are

going to be way stronger your lower back

is going to be way stronger you're gonna

be way better at standing up on that

deck all day long.

But the other thing that happens as we

get older sometimes we lose some

strength in the legs is that it's harder to get

up onto the deck.  So you can do box step

ups bench step ups or you can step up onto

something or you can do the Stairmaster at

the gym.

squats are also very helpful in

order to keep your legs strong so that

you are more capable of stepping up onto

that deck and then standing there and

having pretty good balance throughout

the day. There is something called a BOSU

ball you could put two of those BOSU

balls together and just kind of simulate

a rocking boat and that's a very good thing

to do.  Then, in addition to that you

can practice some isometric holds there

these rubber bands or there are you know

cable machines or whatever and you can

just kind of get into a position where

you are pulling like you're pulling a

fishing rod and you can just kind of

hold that in that position because

that's what you're going to be doing.

you're gonna be holding that in that

position and fighting a fish for 20 30

40 minutes if that's not something that

you're doing everyday or you're not

training in the gym you're gonna have a

hard time with that.  Your arms are gonna get

really tired and you're gonna want to

pass the rod off a lot of times there's

nobody to pass the rod off to so you got

to fight it or you got to switch hands

or you got to do something but for for

somebody that's in really good shape not

gonna be a problem at all . Somebody that

sits all day and wants to have the best

fishing experience that they can you

know you need to do a little bit of a

preliminary training. It seems

like it might be silly to to train for a

fishing trip but it's physical you're

standing up all day long just look at

what you do in a regular day do you

stand up all day long chances are you

don't unless you have a standing desk so

make sure you can stand up all day where

a weighted backpack and do some walking.

Just walk you know if that's the case

step up onto something

an 18-inch platform a cooler a bench

whatever the stairs in your house and

just just step up onto those things as

that gets easier and easier maybe where

the weighted backpacking and step up

there and you know you're not trying to

win a triathlon but

you're trying to make it to where

you've waited all year for this trip now

let's make the best of it ok so if you

can do a little training before great

we've talked a couple of times about the

different types of casting drills that

you can do but I guess it doesn't matter

how good a caster you are if you can't

stand up on the deck all day so you do

need to have some sort of minimal

physical strength in your legs

particularly and in that way you'll be

able to get up on the deck stay on the

deck and maintain your concentration

throughout the day without getting too

tired the other thing to think about is

when you're actually there need to take

care of yourself man.

You know you've waited all year for this

trip you want to do the best you can and

take it a little bit easy at night get

to bed a little bit earlier than then

maybe staying up till two o'clock in the

morning drinking and stuff like that

whatever that's fine everybody wants to

have a good time on the trip but just

know that that's gonna affect you the

next day if you want to have the best

trip you know have a reasonable dinner

get to bed early and then when you're

out on the boat the most important thing

that you can do is drink a lot of water

most people get dehydrated and and start

going down after two or three days so

work on that leg strength before you go

and drink a lot of water when you there

other than that catch some fish have a

good time and let me know if this helped

podcast at saltwater experience comm

that's the email address go to iTunes

rate and review this show if you can I'd

really appreciate it and until next week

see you