Though onshore winds have slowed down beach tarpon fishing for a few days, it has been stellar season and should get better over the next couple of weeks. Using a variety of live bait including large threadfin herring, pinfish, and small crabs for bait, anglers should set up well in front of approaching pods and let the fish swim through the baits. Large capacity spinning reels spooled with 50-pound braided line, matched with 8-foot rods, will help get bait well out in front of the fish. Redfishing has been very good, due largely to the big new moon tides. Schools of hungry fish are following the mullet onto the flats, scouring the bottom for crabs and pinfish. Live and fresh-cut bait has produced big catches on the right tide. Flats holding the highest concentrations of mullet produce best. Snook numbers have rebounded in a big way over the past few years. Often reluctant to eat, these big fish should be targeted on the strong part of the outgoing tide. Use frisky grass grunts or sardines rigged on a small light wire hook with a long stretch of 25-pound fluorocarbon leader.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.