Captain’s Corner: Here come the tarpon

Published May 7 2018
Updated May 7 2018

Itís hot, the water temperatureís right and itís May. That means itís Tarpon Time! Aprilís full moon seemed to have opened the flood gates for tarpon arriving in our area. Weíve observed some at the Sunshine Skyway bridge for a couple weeks. On a few trips last week while looking for a kingfish we witnessed some monster schools of tarpon blowing up the surface in the "hole" on the north end of Egmont Key. Now is when we traditionally begin seeing schools of fish migrating along our gulf beaches. Some will be "greyhounding" at a high rate of speed and not much interested in eating. Others will be "daisy chaining" or milling in a tight bunch and seemingly hardly moving at all. Present bait well ahead of the oncoming school. Many tarpon will infiltrate our bays and backwaters. Tarpon return to many of the same spots year after year. We refer to many spots by nicknames: Lizard Flats, Bootleg, Rocky Point, Franklin Hole, Gadsen Rocks, Westinghouse, Whiskey Stump, Longbar, the Port, the Middle and Bishops. The 10-week all-release 84th Annual Suncoast Tarpon Roundup (benefiting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation) begins this weekend. Juniors enter for free. Call (727) 244-9095 or visit

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.