What's hot: Good numbers of tarpon have made their way into our area, following the huge pods of threadfins that have come in from offshore. The Skyway Bridge was hot in early May but has cooled off of late. Your best bet is to fish the passes that come into the bay, but those can get a little hectic. If crowds aren't your thing, target tarpon on the beach. They are eating live threadfins first thing in the morning, then cutbait as the tide picks up.
Tips: Snook are making their way to beaches and passes leading into the Gulf. Scaled sardines have produced the best bite on a good outgoing tide. You can lighten your tackle when fishing them on the beach, since there are few obstructions to break you off. Try using a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 hook to increase your bites. Trout are also loaded up in the passes. Look for small areas of grass surrounded by sand and fish the edge of it. You should be fishing in about 4 to 6 feet.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.