Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captains Corner: Tarpon move inshore and along beaches to feed

What's hot: The water temperature on the flats has climbed to the lower 80s and brought the tarpon migration inshore to feed at first light. Those who chum bait along the Intracoastal Waterway will find that the tarpon will follow the scent up the slick. This is a great opportunity to present a large pinfish under a cork. Oftentimes the battle takes place in 3 to 4 feet of water, and the tarpon jumps numerous times and wears itself out quickly. The shallows inside Sand Key, the north end of Honeymoon Island and the flats around the Anclote River are all well-known tarpon hangouts. Cast small crabs or threadfins to the fish that roam the outside beaches. The best strategy in this situation is to watch the fish and wait until it drops off into the deeper blue-green water. This is a key feed zone, and it also helps to disguise the offering. Free-lining the bait works best.

Tactics: A 60-pound leader works fine when combined with a 5/0 hook to land most St. Joseph Sound tarpon. Strong side pressure bring these fish boatside quickly. Though tarpon roll on top of the water, oftentimes these fish dive to the bottom to feed. A No. 1 split shot placed a couple of feet up the line drags the bait low into the strike zone. When a school is working up the beach, be sure to allow at least 1,000 yards in setting up ahead for a cast. This extra distance prevents the fish from picking up motor noise as they move into range.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 or at

Captains Corner: Tarpon move inshore and along beaches to feed 06/06/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 6, 2010 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.