Sunday, February 18, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Tarpon moving out to bridges, passes

With the full moon this next weekend, tarpon are moving down the beaches and out of the bay, moving out to the bridges and the passes to feed before some of them leave to spawn. In the early morning along the beaches look for rolling tarpon and use your trolling motor to get your boat set up and cast 10 feet up current of the school so it will drift down to them. On the afternoon hill tides that happens twice a month on the full and new moons in May, June, and July. The fish tend to eat best on the outgoing tides as the bait and crabs starts to flush out of the bay. I look for are blue and pass crabs flushing out in the tide lines. If you drift those tide lines with your engine off you should get hooked up. The etiquette for drifting the pass is don't dip crabs where the boats are tiring to fish. After your drift idle your boat in the middle of the channel before you run back up and start your drift again. The proper equipment is very important from the rod to the hook. I like a 7- to 8-foot foot rod with a light tip with a lot of backbone so you can cast a small bait like a crab. Look for a reel in the 5000 to 10,000 size reel loaded up with plenty of 50-pound braid. For a leader I like a 40- to 80-pound fluorocarbon leader to a 3/0 to a 6/0 circle hook.

Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at [email protected]

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