The tarpon migration continues along Pinellas beaches. It has been an excellent first part of the season. Favorable winds have made for ideal conditions for spotting incoming pods of fish. With the holiday weekend here, you better be sitting on your favorite stretch of beach in the dark waiting for the sun to come up. Tarpon have been easiest to spot in that first hour of daylight. That's when the fish are "happy" and can be seen milling and slowly drifting with the tide. A well-placed cast with a live pinfish, threadfin, scaled sardine or crab will usually draw a strike. Once the sun is a bit higher, the fish don't show as much but are still there. Anchoring up in the same lanes where you've been spotting fish and keeping fresh baits out is a good option. Keep one rod baited and ready in case fish pop up. Catch-and-release snook fishing has been good. Pods of snook can be spotted all along the beach cruising the swash channel. Free-line grass grunts or frisky threadfins around the schools for a shot at big snook. Along with snook have been schools of adult trout and the occasional redfish. Fish smaller pinfish or pilchards when targeting redfish and trout.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.