What's hot: Tarpon Fever is spreading quickly and has been fairly easy to catch. Anglers reported good catch-and-release action over the weekend. Easterly winds provided calm seas along the nearshore waters, and stronger than normal tides influenced by Saturday's new moon had tarpon bunched up at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the passes on either side of Egmont Key. "Super Dave" Laggner of St. Pete had a couple of early releases then held on to win the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup's Hill Tide tournament. Several fish were caught and let go by drifting crabs through the pass or sight casting to schools of rolling fish.
Alternative technique: Saturday we sat in a pretty good flow of fish near the beach in Manatee County. Most of our bites were on fly-lined bottom baits, and we had a couple on live baits suspended beneath corks. Our bottom baits consisted of tail-hooked fresh dead shad. Live baits were pinfish hooked in the back.
Tip: Don't be in a hurry to reel in the other rods once a fish is hooked; otherwise chances of multiple hookups are eliminated.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142.