What's hot: Strong onshore winds all week have made it difficult to do much beach fishing outside of the pass. But tarpon are possible on the west winds, especially as we get away from a full moon. You just have to find those deep-water, back-bay haunts that might hold a few laid up in the early morning.
Tips: Potential tarpon spots are: deep residential canals, canals with creeks dumping into them, dredged out marinas and harbors, deep cuts between spoil islands and big basins that attract threadfins or shad. Most are fishable when the wind is up. One thing they have in common is deeper water than surrounding areas. So a detailed chart of inshore waters allows you to narrow the search.
Tactics: Usually, laid-up tarpon roll most frequently in the early morning, when the light is low, staging well outside of where you think the fish might be holding. Scan the area for activity to pinpoint the largest concentration of fish. Silently move the boat into position with the trolling motor on low speed, and make long casts with slow, sinking twitch baits. Or anchor up and put out a spread of fresh bottom baits such as shad, mullet or ladyfish.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email firstname.lastname@example.org.