What's hot: Tarpon are migrating down the west coast beaches. Watch for silver flashes as fish roll. Any beach in the bay area is a good place to start. I will anchor right off the beach and wait. Have the anchor attached to an anchor ball so you do not have to waste time pulling it in. Pods of fish will eventually move right toward where I am anchored. Once a pod is located, I will throw my anchor ball and get into position, careful not to disturb the fish.
Bait: I like to use a 12-foot cast net to throw for bait. This allows me to fill the well quickly and throw in deeper water. I like to have a variety of bait. You never know what a tarpon will eat. Scaled sardines, also known as whitebait, are a top choice. Threadfin herring, which are called greenbacks, are just as good but sensitive and die quickly once their scales fall off. Crabs can be found floating on grass lines on outgoing tides. Use a long dip net to scoop them up.
Tactic: Approach schools of fish with care. Use a push pole or trolling motor on the lowest setting to get close to fish. Running motors will spook fish and shut them down. Tarpon will head west to deeper water when spooked, making it difficult to sight cast.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com.