The Tampa Bay Times

Seven year old Alyssa Lynn Crisp went four for four and captured first place in the Junior Division Finale Day in the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup.  Twelve year old Devon Peduzzi wrestled and released two tarpon and had a couple others on Saturday morning to take home second place honors.  Twelve year old Hunter Rudisell gutted it out and took third place to round out the leader board.  He also landed a cobia and tripletail as a bonus.  Each of these accomplished young anglers qualified for the fish-off by their number of releases during the ten week event.  The regular division Finale Day is Saturday and the “weigh in” party will be at Bay Pines Marina.  Shad, menhaden or pogies as some call em’ have been hard to come by for much of this season.  Just now the much sought after tarpon bait have begun showing up in better numbers.  They need not be alive, but the fresher the better.  Whether soaked on the bottom in the bay, chunked at the Skyway Bridge or properly presented just outside the swim buoys along our gulf beaches, we’ve not found a more productive bait.  The tournaments may be over but there’s still going to be plenty of good tarpon fishing for those who have not yet had enough.  There are going to be tarpon scattered around in Tampa Bay through August and maybe beyond.  A flow of fish will continue to cruise our gulf beaches as well.  Not the big schools that showed a lot as they migrated along the coast earlier.  They’re more subtle now and a bit harder to detect.  Singles, doubles and small pods have become the norm.   

Captain Jay Mastry

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