Capt Jim Lemke Times Correspondent
With the new Moon this weekend all that means is that the Tarpon are moving down the beaches and making their way out of the bay and moving out to the bridges and the passes to feed before some of them leave to go out and spawn June on the full moon. In the early morning hours along the beaches look for rolling Tarpon and use your trolling motor to get your boat setup and cast your favorite bait 20 feet up current of the school so it will drift down to them. On the afternoon hill tides that happed two times a month on the Full and New moons in May, June, and July the fish tend to eat best on the outgoing tides as the bait and crabs starts to flush out of the bay. The main thing I look for are the Blue and Pass crabs flushing out in the tide lines. If you drift those tide lines with your engine off accept to adjust the boat you should get hooked up, once you’re hooked up on a Tarpon you do want to get on your fish so you don’t get broke off and mess up the other people fishing. The etiquette for drifting the pass is don’t dip crabs where the boats are tiring to fish. After you get finished with your drift please idle your boat out in the middle of the channel before you jump on a plane and run back up and start your drift again. Don’t just jump up on a plane and run up through all the boats you are putting the tarpon down and it’s not the right thing to do. If everyone will just play nice out there we will all catch more Tarpon.
As for the proper equipment is very important from the rod to the hook. I like a 7’ to 8’ foot rod with a light tip with a lot of backbone so you can cast a small bait like a crab. You should look for a reel in the 5000 to 10,000 size reel loaded up with plenty of 50-pound braid. Now for a leader I like using between a 40 to 80-pound fluorocarbon leader to a 3/0 to a 6/0 circle hook.
Capt Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.