Chasing the silver kings: Late spring and early summer bring the annual tarpon migration to Florida's west coast. The tackle-busting silver kings are being caught from Boca Grande to Bayport. During May and June, the fish gather for their annual spawn along the west coast, which makes for spectacular fishing. We have had several trips with more than 10 fish caught per day.
Where to look: The tarpon can be located along the beaches, from Boca Grande to Anclote Key. They can be found on shallow flats adjacent to major channels running through the Intracoastal Waterway. One of the most popular places to catch tarpon is around major bridges that span Tampa Bay and at the major passes — Boca Grande, Egmont and Hurricane.
How to catch them: Fishing around bridges or passes is most likely the simplest way to catch tarpon. The trick around a bridge is to fish the uptide side of the structure. If fishing during daylight, use a live threadfin or pinfish. Drift the baits back to the shadow line of a bridge and free-line them or put them under a cork.
If fishing at night, follow the same pattern. But an angler can sight-cast to tarpon from under a bridge. Anchor under a bridge a few feet inside the shadow line and look for the tarpon swimming down the shadow line looking for prey. Sight-cast a live bait or small jig to the fish as it swims by.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.