Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Juvenile minnows draw tarpon to beaches

An amazing occurrence: Late summer action consists of a variety of large game fish taking part in a unique feeding frenzy. Many larger fish such as tarpon are active along our beaches. The reasoning for all this activity is the arrival of juvenile minnows. They are beginning to bundle tight to the beaches, forming a unique food source. Mackerel, blue runners, ladyfish, trout, sharks, cobia and many other inshore species are feeding on these bait schools.

More information: This migration of small bait fish will last into early fall. The minnows swim in tight balls trying to avoid being devoured. This allows many fish to eat mouthfuls at a time, sometimes gorging for hours. Tarpon fishing can often peak. Numerous fish are swimming at the surface in the midst of these large clouds of minnows. Occasionally, the giant tarpon gorge on the frantic minnows, balling them up into tight schools. After a few minutes the feeding frenzy ends. You want your baits presented during this outrageous feeding frenzy, when tarpon will eat pinfish, herring and many others. Studying these large fish feeding helps angling skills for all species.

Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.

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