What's hot: Late season tarpon fishing will remain hot through August. We jumped a half dozen Saturday morning off Longboat Key, caught and let four go including an estimated 140-pounder. Tarpon are no longer in huge herds. Most have broken up into singles, pairs and smaller bunches. Though less obvious, they continue to migrate along our gulf beaches. Tarpon will come up, gulp a breath of air and roll on the surface but many are undetected because they don't have to surface often. It's not required to observe rolling fish to determine if they are coming by. On many productive late season trips we've seen few fish roll.
Technique: Blind Fishing is the most effective method in lieu of fewer fish to sight cast to. Fly-lining bottom baits is working but I also like to suspend live baits beneath corks to mix it up if they're finicky. A combination of both works well.
Bait offerings: Bait choices vary. Mine is shad. Other bottom baits include mullet, ladyfish, pinfish and grunts. Four favorite live bait selections would be small blue crabs, medium-size pinfish and large greenbacks or white bait.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.