What's hot: Sunday, on an evening tarpon trip to fish the last couple of hours of a full moon outgoing tide, we lost count after our 15th bite. Between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. the tarpon chewed with reckless abandon. We jumped a dozen fish before seeing one roll on the surface. We had three or four doubleheaders, and each fish we let go was estimated between 75 and 125 pounds. A handful of other boats were along Longboat Key with us, and all reported double-digit hookups.
Tip: We planned this trip largely because of full moon "magic." Tarpon are evening and nighttime feeders during this moon phase. A 7 p.m. minor solunar period coupled with a 9 p.m. tide change was also a helpful indicator for which hours to focus on. Intangibles are often key to success. Ours included an able crew, fresh bait (shad) and luck. Many tarpon stacked up at the Sunshine Skyway bridge and in the passes at Egmont seemed to come out on the beach to play. We happened to be in their playground.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142.