What's hot: We are starting to get a little tease of what we have in store with the acrobatics and line-screaming action silver kings provide. Tarpon are slowly making their way back into St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. And the snook and redfish bite has been phenomenal. These fish have been stacked up around all of the islands in Tampa Bay. I look for a pass between islands where the water flows in and out. I have found with the long incoming and outgoing tides, the fish have been eating later in the day, usually from about noon on.
Tackle: If you plan on targeting tarpon, you will need strong stuff. I would use a 7-foot medium-heavy weighted rod rigged with 50- or 60-pound braided line and 3 feet of 60-pound fluorocarbon liter. Finish it with a No. 4 or No. 5 circle hook.
Bait: Tarpon are not too finicky. A threadfin herring or big greenback will do. I have to chum pretty hard to keep the bite going on the snook. But once it starts, it hasn't stopped. The redfish have been mixed in with the snook, but the snook have been beating them to the bait. Once the snook bite slows, the redfish bite turns on. I have been using small- and medium-sized greenbacks to catch both.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.