Sunday, November 19, 2017
Outdoors

Captains corner: Small tarpon tolerate warmer spots

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What's hot: Warm inshore waters lead to slow fishing for several species. One fish that thrives in hot water is the tarpon. While the bulk of the migratory adult population has moved on, juvenile tarpon remain in our waters year-round. These fish are fun to catch on light tackle and fly-fishing gear. However, they are tricky to find and harder to make bite.

Where to look: Many of the best spots are in brackish water, in quiet upper stretches of creeks, canals and ditches. Often these spots are more accessible by foot than boat. Ponds connected to saltwater via ditches or pipes can be productive. Check potential spots early in the day or just before sunset.

Tackle: Light spinning tackle rigged with 3 feet of 25-pound test fluorocarbon leader works great for small tarpon. Depending on the spot, they will hit topwater plugs, jigs, or my favorite, a tiny jerkbait rigged on an unweighted weedless hook. These fish strike a fly, and one they like is the bend-back pattern known as the Hansen glass minnow.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at lighttacklecharters.com or at (727) 944-3474.

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