Summer tarpon: For most guides and anglers, July is the end of tarpon season, but in reality it's the start of the best part. July will bring fewer tarpon anglers, making for less traffic and more action. There will be plenty of tarpon action until October or the first cold front.
Where to look: During summer you can locate tarpon in several types of locations, such as around major bridges, along the beaches, most rivers and on the flats. Two of my favorite places during midsummer are the flats of Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. The tarpon school up around the large schools of shad for an easy meal. One of the best things is that you don't need to catch or buy live bait. I fish with all artificial baits — soft- and hard-plastic slow-sinking lures, crank baits and plastic jigs.
Beat the heat: For those who might not like the hot weather during summer, there are plenty of tarpon to catch at night around all the major bridges. The trick is to anchor under the bridge about 5 feet inside the shadow line on the uptide side of the bridge. You will see tarpon swimming along the edge of the shadow line. Most any bait will work, live or artificial.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.