What's hot: There's still time to target giant tarpon before the first cold fronts start coming through, and there are several places to catch them, from Charlotte Harbor to Tampa Bay. These tarpon are schooled up and eating, getting ready for the winter ahead. Most of the major rivers that dump into Tampa Bay have tarpon in them during September and October. There are also plenty of fish roaming the flats around Tampa Bay. These fish can and will move several miles in a short time period, so you need to get out as much as you can to stay on them. One thing to look for is schools of baitfish such as shad, threadfins, finger mullet and whitebait, because the tarpon will most likely be near.
Baits and lures: There are several types of live baits to use, including pinfish, mullet, shad and threadfin. I like to use artificial baits, which allow me to cover more water and fish the area hard. Slow-sinking crankbaits seem to work best.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.