What's hot: Water temperatures have climbed into the mid 70s, and migrating tarpon have begun to appear around the bay area. Typically, the earliest arrivals show up around the Sunshine Skyway and other bridges that span the bay, where they have been for several weeks now. With each passing day, tarpon are being spotted from the passes to the gulf grass flats of north Pinellas and Pasco counties.
Tip: The best tarpon spots right now are the bridges, but adventurous anglers patrolling the gulf beaches early in the morning might have some success. Watch for rollers, but be sure to leave a live threadfin drifting behind the boat while you are looking. Our favorite bait for beach and bridge fishing is a live threadfin hooked through the nostrils. During the full and new moon tides there is a noticeable shift in the appetite and crabs become the bait of choice. For sight-casting on the flats we use small crabs presented under a tiny float or a fly rod with a brown or black fly. Big flashy baits can scare fish in shallow water, so subtle and soft presentations are important.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (727) 944-3474.