Tarpon time. The big draw this month will have to be tarpon. They are showing up in good numbers and can be caught anywhere from the beaches and passes to the port of Tampa and all the way up into Safety Harbor. The bait of choice will be crabs or big threadfins. If fishing them off the beach, just look for a pod of cruising fish and set up way in front of them. You will have the most success this way. Chasing the fish almost never works.
Changing snook. Snook are moving into their spawning mode. Look for schooling fish on the beach and on deep shorelines with good tidal flow. They will be eating almost everything in sight. If you are looking for a trophy fish, then try putting big dead bait like a ladyfish or mullet on the bottom. Make sure to take care of these big fish and release them right away since they are in the middle of their spawn.
Trout throughout. Big trout continue to be caught throughout Tampa Bay. They are mixed in with the redfish in the big mullet schools. The best tactic for catching these gator trout has been fishing with a scaled sardine. Cast them in the mullet schools and over grass flats. You will want to use as slow of a retrieve as possible, just enough to keep the bait out of the grass.
If looking for constant action, then move out into the middle of the bay. Start around the shipping channel and markers. Spanish mackerel and sharks can be caught on almost every cast once you get them chummed up. Make sure to use heavier leader with a long shank hook.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.