What's hot: Tarpon fishing the full moon phase in June often has been among the most productive days each season. Live baiters take advantage of the crab flow during the ripping, outgoing tide in the late afternoon and evening. Tarpon instinctively gather in passes at Egmont Key and the Skyway bridge to gulp up the easy pickings.
Alternative technique: It's widely accepted and a proven fact that some species eat better at night on the days surrounding the full moon. Tarpon are one of them. Some of my best trips have been after the lights go out. "Edge fishing", anchoring just outside the swash channel that parallels the gulf beaches, soaking bottom baits and chumming heavy are key to drawing them to you.
Tips: As in daytime fishing, night hours aren't equal and picking the productive ones is paramount. Networking with others can be a huge help. I'm partial to a rising moon. I like the hours surrounding a tide change and a solunar period is always a bonus. As exciting and chaotic as daylight tarpon fishing can be, it's magnified in the dark. Few visuals are better than a 150-plus pound mass of muscle and twisted chrome coming out of the water with a bad attitude, mouth wide open and as big as a 5-gallon bucket, rattling gills and then crashing back in — all in the light of the moon.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.