Love is in the air and tarpon are in local waters

With this year’s hatch of lovebugs, another special event is occurring. That’s right, you guessed it, Tarpon season.

With Anna Maria Island finally falling into a consistent weather pattern, the tarpon are arriving in encouraging numbers. Large schools are being sighted throughout our waters, especially along the Gulf beaches and passes of Anna Maria and Egmont Key.

If you desire to test your strength against the silver king, it’s time to go out and pay your dues. We should see good tarpon fishing for at least the next few weeks, giving you ample time to get out there. For bait, live crabs or threadfin herring are working well. Don’t be afraid to cast some large shiners or pinfish into the mix, too.

Fishing early morning tides is providing good action for now, but when you see those strong outgoing afternoon tides, make sure you make the time to go. Fishing live crabs on these tides in the passes can be some of the best tarpon fishing you’ll experience, so don’t miss out.

On my Southernaire charters, I’m hiding in the back country among the mangroves and shallow grass flats of Terra Ceia Bay. Catch-and-release snook action is still going strong with morning trips yielding between 20-40 snook in 4-hours of fishing. Catch-and-release spotted seatrout are being caught with some regularity. Most catches are slot-size, which are always worthy of bending a rod.

Fishing around oyster bars is providing some catch-and-release redfish action, although the bite is sporadic.  Many times I’m seeing reds being caught when we are targeting snook.

Lastly, fishing wrecks and rock piles in Tampa Bay is resulting in Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle and some keeper-size catch-and-release gag grouper.

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