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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

What's hot: Now that most adult tarpon have finished spawning, look for them to change their patterns. When these fish return to the coast from their offshore mating rituals, they become more focused on feeding. Earlier in the season the fish seldom ventured far from school formation to eat. To draw a strike you had to place the bait directly in the path of the group, and even then they didn't always bite. Now that feeding has again become their top priority, they are more likely to be found in small groups or as singles, which are far more likely to chase down bait.

Tips: It is a common mistake for beach tarpon hunters to fish only when large, obvious schools are sighted. Be sure to look into the water for what is passing by beneath the waves, preferably while sitting still with the motor off. Be sure to drift a couple of live baits behind the boat while watching. We catch random unseen tarpon like this all the time.

Tactics: Don't be afraid of dirty water. For the past two seasons, our best tarpon trips have both come in rough, dirty water. Again, you probably will not see many fish rolling, but when you figure out where they are in murky water, they will bite just about every offering.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at lighttacklecharters.com or at (727) 944-3474.

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