Large schools of spawn have moved into the gulf, with most of them hanging close to the beach. Look for areas where birds are diving on the surface. Mackerel, jacks, sharks and tarpon will be feeding where you find the birds. You can locate the mackerel by the surface strikes. Cast a small spoon over the strikes and retrieve it with a jerk of the rod tip every few cranks of the reel. Use a short piece of wire to keep the mackerel from biting off the spoon. While you work the spoon watch for tarpon rolling on the surface. Use a free-lined pinfish and cast it in front of the tarpon. This will give the bait enough time to get to the bottom. Most days we will see more than 100 tarpon roll. The problem in getting a strike is the sharks hanging in the same area. They will likely take the pinfish before a tarpon can find it. The sharks are 20 to 30 pounds. They are fun to catch and the blacktips put on a aerial show when hooked. Save a few mackerel for shark bait. Cut the mackerel into 4-inch chunks and free-line near the birds. We started at St. Pete Beach and worked north looking for birds. During the run we found triple tail hanging on the swim markers. Have a few dozen live shrimp to get the triple tail to feed. When you locate one hanging next to the marker, move upwind and drift back to the fish. Free-line a tail hooked shrimp and cast it so it will drift close to the surface when it passes the marker. Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.