What's hot: With the new moon approaching, the strong incoming tides are productive for tarpon along beaches in North Pinellas. Silver kings roaming the shoreline have anglers out at the crack of dawn. Most schools cruise just outside the sandbars, heading north at daybreak and south on the later, falling tide. The best chance of intercepting them is setting up in a well-traveled path away from other anglers. Tarpon are notorious for becoming tight-lipped when they are overpressured in clear waters along the beach. This relief also increases the hookup ratio as fish slow down to feed. Place baits with varied presentations. Place a couple under corks at different depths. This allows the 60-pound fluorocarbon to make a clean presentation. Often, a dead shad soaked on the bottom gets picked up by tarpon lower in the water column. When sight-fishing, cast way ahead of the school.
Beach tarpon tackle: The 8-foot, medium- and heavy-action spinning rods of 15-40 pounds are well-suited when combined with a 6000 series reel with a good drag system. With 50- to 60-pound braid, anglers get increased casting distance and braking power.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]