What's hot: With morning easterly winds, the nearshore waters have been calm and have allowed anglers to find snook and tarpon cruising sandbars along the beach. The deeper swash channel that runs parallel to the shore has schools of linesiders preparing to feed hard for the summer spawn. By learning what these fish look like when they are in the darker green troughs, anglers can present baits in a fashion that appeals to these finicky fish. Belly-hooking threadfins are the top choice for pre-spawn snook. As the gulf waters begin to heat up, pinfish are more likely to draw strikes.
Tarpon hunt: Tarpon are starting to appear along the northern waters of Pinellas County. The barrier islands are the mainstay for these fish until the first moon in July. Patience and keen eyesight are key elements in hooking up to these tarpon. The fish have less tendency to roll in the shallows now. Look for the dark silhouettes of fish swimming in about 6 to 8 feet just off sandbars. With all the wind the west coast has had this season, the water has stayed a little dirty, and the tarpon are feeding better on baits presented at or near the bottom. Threadfins, pinfish and silver mullet are top choices for live bait.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 439-9017.