What's hot: Tarpon fishing during this week's outgoing tide will be on fire. Strong afternoon tides will pull crabs off the flats and put them in the weed lines that flow out of the pass. Tarpon will go on a feeding frenzy if the crabs flow in large numbers. The Skyway and Egmont Key will be the best spots to target.
Tactics: Use a long-handled dip net to catch the crabs on the surface. Move uptide of the rolling tarpon, and free-line the crabs as you drift back through the school. When you get to the end of the drift, idle outside the other boats before getting on the plane and moving back to the top of the drift. When the lines get tight, wait for the line to start pulling drag before setting the hook. Then lower the rod and point the tip toward the tarpon. This is when they will jump.
Tackle: Use 30- to 50-pound braided line and a 50-pound leader on a heavy rod. The hook should be a 5 to 7/0 with a thick shaft. Thin hooks will bend under the tarpon's power and weight.
Tip: The strong tide will repeat for the three days after the full moon, June 24-26.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.