What's hot: Tarpon fishing remains good along local beaches. Fast-moving pods of tarpon are moving both north and south within 100 yards of shore.
Tactics: These fish are not showing themselves as well as the slow-moving pods we had at the beginning of the month. Our best results lately have come by anchoring inline with active fish lanes (usually within 20 yards of the swim buoys) and keeping lively baits out. Big pumpkinseeds have been the most productive bait. The action typically slows by 8:30 a.m., so an early start will increase the chances of multiple hookups.
Second-chance tarpon: Late-season tarpon fishing can be fantastic at times; the fish are often much more willing to eat than the milling pods of fish that we see at the start of the season. Look for rolling fish at sunup along beaches, bridges and backwater holding spots.
More fish will begin to fill the backwaters as we get further away from last week's full moon. A recent trip to Tampa Bay yielded only one tarpon hookup, but we had multiple hookups on some healthy-sized bull sharks while fishing fresh mullet on the bottom. Expect this fishing to get hot within a couple of weeks. If soaking bait on the bottom isn't to your liking, try casting artificial lures such as MirrOlures TT series and DOA's Baitbuster plug in the trolling model.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.