What's hot: Juvenile tarpon, from 5 to 30 pounds, are in river mouths and deep residential canals. Anclote River, the Cottee, and Gulf Harbors are good areas. Rain has pushed many of these smaller tarpon, usually found up river, closer to the gulf.
Tackle: Tackle used for redfish or snook works for juvenile tarpon. A 7-foot light action rod provides casting distance. Match that with a 2500 to 3000 series reel loaded with 8- to 12-pound line, and finish the setup with a 2-foot piece of 20-pound leader and a 1/0 circle hook.
Tactics: Look for rolling tarpon in early morning, late evening, or just after a rain. If the tide is strong, cast just up current of where the fish breached, regardless of the direction the fish was moving. With minimal tidal movement, cast in front of the fish. These fish also respond well to live chumming with scaled sardines. Dead bait on the bottom also works. Anchor where tarpon have been rolling and toss chunks of cutbait in grouped areas around the boat. Put a hook in a piece of cutbait and cast to areas you've been chumming.
Seth Leto charters out of Tarpon Springs and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 385-0382.