Now is the best time to target tarpon. Silver kings are cruising the beaches on their yearly migration up and down the state’s west coast. This week’s strong new moon tides and the strong full moon tides in two weeks provide some of the best action for tarpon fishing. They will congregate in the deep 90-foot hole off of Egmont Key, waiting for the falling tide. Once the current is at its fastest, crabs will flush out with the tide. Tarpon are in the hole waiting for the flush of crabs. Two of the biggest problems are that people make the mistake of dipping crabs in the “drift” and they run on plane through the pack of boats that are fishing. Crabs are all over the place; there’s no reason to interrupt everyone’s drift who is fishing. Once the drift is over, go out and around the pack of boats, not through the fish and the people fishing. Running on plane disrupts the fish and causes unnecessary boat wakes. I use a rod that can handle heavy 65-pound braided line with 80-pound flourocarbon leader with a 4/0 Super J hook. This setup will land big fish quickly, preventing it from becoming exhausted. Tarpon will fight for long periods of time, so take time to revive the fish by putting the boat in gear and flushing water through the gills.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.