Tarpon migration to the shorelines during spring is related to the spawning season. Although the fish come from many directions, it seems they use the passes as a congregating area to work out stages in their cycle of readiness for spawning. Many gulf coast passes might serve as focal points for spawning aggregations, but only the largest and deepest passes offer comfort for the fish from noise and other man-made disruptions.
Spawning is a rigorous activity that requires stored energy in the form of fat. Although witnessing spring tarpon feeding is not common, the spring tides around the new and full moon are the exception. The spring ebb tides flush incredible amounts of forage through the passes, and the tarpon key in on the opportunity.
Pro logic: Portunid (pass) crabs flowing through the passes on the outgoing tides provide an easy source of bait for daytime anglers around the moon phases. Cast crab forward against the current so the bait drifts naturally. When the crab is behind the boat and leading the drift, bring it in and cast again or the crab will spin in the water and not look natural.
Robert McCue can be reached toll-free at 1-800-833-0489 or at his Web site, www.gianttarpon.com.