What's hot: Tarpon fishing is in full swing along the west coast as tarpon school in large numbers for their annual spawn. Find them along the beaches, passes, major bridges and flats.
Tips: There are several ways to catch tarpon, including jig fishing in passes, sight fishing along the beaches and live- or dead-bait fishing on the flats. For fishing in passes such as Boca Grande, use jigs or live bait such as crabs and thread fins. For jig fishing, get on the uptide side of the fish, drop your jigs to the bottom and crank it up one to two turns. Keep your line straight up and down by putting your boat in and out of reverse. Beach fishing takes a stealth approach because tarpon can be spooked easily in shallow water. Use a trolling motor or push pole, or drift to the fish. Look for fish that are moving slowly or daisy chaining, because they feed better. The best baits are live crabs and thread fins.
Fishing around bridges: Fish the uptide side. This is the side from which the tide is flowing. Anchor up under the bridge and fish the shadow line. The tarpon will swim up and down the line looking for an easy meal. Use live bait such as large white baits, thread fins, plastic jigs or crank baits.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.