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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Tarpon pods splitting up

What's hot: There will continue to be good numbers of tarpon migrating along our shores. Following the full moon this month, many of the massive herds we have sightcasted to will begin to break up. Smaller pods, pairs and even single fish will make up much of the tarpon fishing around the gulf beaches through the summer.

Change of strategy: While the smaller batches are less visible and more difficult to track, time might be better spent anchoring and letting them come to you. Even if you don't observe them rolling on the surface, by nature, tarpon travel along our beaches often just outside the swash channel that parallels the shoreline. The key to this technique, referred to as blind or edge fishing, is determining what depth the majority are traveling. Rolling fish make it easy, but when they're not showing well, adjustments might be necessary. Depending on which beach I'm working, I like anchoring at 10-16 feet. While anchoring parallel to the beach, half of the rods are cast inside, the other half out. If all of the bites come from one side, we will adjust. Often, reanchoring only a cast away can make a difference.

Bait selection: On some trips, the live stuff will be more productive than the dead. Crabs, pinfish or greenbacks — either suspended beneath corks or fly lined — are a good choice. I'll mix it up some when using this technique, but my first choice is fresh dead shad fished on the bottom.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142

Captain's Corner: Tarpon pods splitting up 06/21/08 [Last modified: Saturday, June 21, 2008 9:36pm]
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