What's hot: Tarpon are arriving up and down the Pinellas coast. Though high winds can make it hard to see them cruising along the beach, east winds forecast for this week will let anglers peer out west to calmer waters, waiting for the silver kings to roll as they gulp air.
Tip: A common technique for hooking a tarpon is to get in the path of schools rolling toward you, usually a few hundred yards offshore, then quietly maneuver to present a bait in front of them. Cast a threadfin herring or large sardine under a float, leading them as far as possible. More schools of fish are likely to roll through the same area if you miss the targeted group. Also, cut baits on the bottom can attract fish that aren't on the top of the water column.
Tackle: Use 50-pound braided main line and at least a 60-pound fluorocarbon leader to a 5/0 circle hook. Lighter leader can get more hookups. Only move to 80-pound leader if your fish break off too often.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.