What's hot: As tarpon season gets into full swing, anglers pursue at all hours of the day. The fish that move along beaches in Pinellas County will see almost the same pressure as the famous fish of Boca Grande. Tarpon along these shallow, clear waters do not respond well to excessive pressure, so anglers must take advantage of lower light conditions. Sunrise is prime time as fish seek easy meals and boat traffic is at a minimum. The long shadows from shore help disguise the presentation, and there is usually an east wind, which allows for a good distance on the cast. Sightcasting to schools as they move by the boat will test your patience. Threadfins, smaller silver mullet and crabs are the top live baits at this time of year.
Tips: Placing a cork to suspend baits about 4 feet up the line is best for beach fishing. Larger spinning outfits will hold a good amount of 50-pound braid with a heavy enough drag to turn silver kings during battles. Use a 60-pound fluorocarbon leader and 5/0 hook.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.