What's hot: A change in tactics can help extend a tarpon season that will begin tapering for those who strictly sight-cast along our gulf beaches. Later in the season tarpon don't travel in the herds we see in May and June. Though there remain good numbers migrating along the shoreline, many will travel alone, in pairs or in smaller bunches — making them more difficult to detect. Anchoring, chumming and letting them come to you can be more productive than riding up and down the beach for hours looking for tarpon to throw to.
Technique: Certainly tarpon don't travel down the beaches in single file. On any given day, however, the majority are using a particular depth, so dialing that in is key. Anchor in line with where you see them roll and adjust if you have to. If you occasionally witness some rolling, you can rest assured there are others sneaking by that you're not seeing. Ideally, if you anchor parallel to the beach and fish are showing relatively close on both sides, don't move. If the majority are either inside or out, a slight adjustment could pay big dividends.
Tips: My last trip we moved about a cast and a half out from where we were. We jumped seven and released four but might not have gotten a bite if we didn't.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.