Captain’s Corner 8/25/08
The doldrum days of August are here. For many this is the time of year to pack up the tarpon tackle until next spring. For others, the late tarpon season has only begun if you have the patience to look. There are over 50 miles of bridges in Tampa Bay and each one will house the silver giants through the summer until the cold fronts of fall move them to warmer, more food-laden waters for winter. The spawning season has ended and the tarpon are inside the bay to do one thing – EAT!
MirrOlures, top water plugs and DOA’s are all good choices at this time of year. Best days to search for tarpon are when waters are calm. Look for rolling tarpon at the surface; a flash of silver or the dark tip of a fin or back. Once spotted, an artificial can be cast in front of the fish. One must be close enough to make it look appealing to the tarpon, but not so close that you spook or hit the fish. Then real it in as slow as possible to make the fish strike.
Staple to finding summer tarpon is to look for the bait. Tarpon will follow and stay with its food at this time of year. Birds will fly over the school of glass minnows, menhaden have a distinctive flip to watch for at the surface, and balls of white bait at depth might be found on your depth recorder. These are good places to soak dead bait for tarpon or sit and wait for their rolls.
Capt. Robert McCue can be reached at (800) 833-0489 or through his website, www.GiantTarpon.com