Sharks on the prowl: Sharks have become ferocious this week, attacking many of the tarpon hooked by anglers. Numerous bull sharks have eaten tarpon as the fish fought for their lives, and some bulls have ganged up on one fish at a time, tearing it to shreds. But don't be alarmed about the action along the coastline. This is natural and occurs every summer. The bottom line: Tarpon attract big sharks. They are "filet mignon" for many sharks.
Staying alive: Once a big shark bites down on a tarpon, it will simply freeze and not move. Otherwise the attack would get more aggressive. A tarpon this week got lucky using this method of survival, because the giant bull shark swam away after there was no struggle. Soon the tarpon was on its way.
Effect on fishing: Some large great hammerheads have been cruising the beaches searching for their favorite food: again, tarpon. We have had a 10-footer harassing us for the past few days. Each time the sharks attack a school of tarpon, the fish will be spooked for most of the day. Eating a baited hook is the last thing on their minds.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at [email protected], jawstoo.com or (727) 595-3276.