What's hot: With the full moon tides of July passing by, tarpon and snook will be at the peak of spawning season and will hold just inside major passes to be able to feed easier. Tarpon, en route to backcountry haunts, are showing up in good numbers at the inlets from the Sunshine Skyway to Anclote Key. These silver kings will roll only at first light and stay deep once the boat traffic begins. Freelining a threadfin or pinfish will produce the best results. Deeper holes in upper Tampa Bay and the Anclote River are great places to anchor up with dead bait.
The snook are holding on deep edges closest to shore in the main passes of North Pinellas. The lowest tides of the day make these depressions visible and help anglers to target larger linesiders holding in the swift incoming current. Large whitebait (sardines) have worked best when nose-hooked and freelined along these dropoffs. It is best to try to set the boat up so that each cast can be placed well uptide and allow the bait to present naturally through the strike zone.
Tips: Pay close attention to the major and minor lunar phases, as this is usually the prime feeding time of the day. On the incoming tides, the water has been clear and downsizing leader for snook to 25-pound test is needed.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 439-9017.