Tarpon will be my main target for the next two months. I start at first light and fill the well with threadfin herring. From there I run to a beach and look for fish to be rolling. I use a high definition GPS trolling motor to keep from spooking fish. The trolling motor has a track function that keeps me on a correct track and prevents running into schools. It also has an anchor function that holds me in one place while I wait for schools to approach my position. When I see fish coming down the beach, I use the remote to get me into the correct position to make a cast. I use the appropriate tackle needed to land fish more than 100 pounds. Many anglers are making the mistake of using too light of gear. It takes rods that are rated to 100-pound line, large capacity spinning reels and heavy line. Braided line can't handle the shock, so I start with a loose drag setting. Once the fish makes its initial run, I get aggressive and start tightening the drag. The faster a tarpon is landed, the better it is for the fish. Lighter tackle and two-hour battles tires the fish too much and could end in death. Bull sharks will move in with the schools of tarpon. They know when tarpon are exhausted and will attack right next to the boat. When a shark is seen, I break the line and let the tarpon run.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.