by CAPT. DOUG HEMMER
WHAT'S HOT: Tarpon fishing during today and tomorrow's outgoing tide will be on fire. Strong afternoon outgoing tides will pull crabs off of the flats and put them in the weed lines that flow out the pass. Tarpon will go on a feeding frenzy if the crabs flow in large numbers. The Skyway Bridge and Egmont Key will be the best spots to target.
TECHNIQUE: Use a long-handle dip net to catch the crabs that float on the surface. Move up-tide of the rolling tarpon and free-line the crabs as you drift back through the school. When you get to the end of the drift, idle outside the other boats before getting on plane and move back to the top of the drift. When you feel the rods line getting tight, wait for the line to start pulling drag before setting the hook. After setting the hook, lower the rod and point the tip toward the tarpon. This is when they will jump. If you have the rod tip high and bent, more times than not the tarpon will spit the hook during the jump.
TACKLE: Use 30- to 50-lb braided line and a 50-lb leader on a heavy rod. The hook should be a 5 to 7/0 that has a thick shaft. Thin hooks will bend under the tarpons power and weight.
TIP: This strong tide bite will repeat on the three days following the full moon. These dates will be the 24th, 25th and 26th of June.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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