What's hot: Monday's full moon provided all of the necessary ingredients for an ideal tarpon trip: the last two hours of a ripping outgoing tide just before dark, a moon rise and a minor solunar period. We jumped a half-dozen, caught and released four, all more than 100 pounds. Tarpon activity sometimes will taper during daylight hours during this phase but often flourish at night.
Tips: Fresh bait is key, and none is better than shad cut into pieces. Chumming is essential, and it's common to go through a 5-gallon bucket. An extra bucket lets you change baits often. Pinfish, crabs and other pesky creatures will gnaw on your offerings as they lie on the bottom.
What's ahead: Many indicators point to an extended tarpon season this year. The big schools we typically see in May and June traditionally break up by late July. But we are seeing an unusual amount this year, keeping me hopeful we have several good weeks of fishing still to come.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.