Spring is in the air and that means one thing to fishermen-
The Silver King is on its way.
Most tarpon enter the bay from May through late August every year as they prepare to
spawn. There are also permanent local populations in backwater areas and brackish
They will take a variety of baits and lures. Tarpon feed on live baits like pinfish and pass
crabs free-lined or under a bobber, and threadfins or whitebait fished either way too.
But other days they want cut bait like shad and threadfins free lined in a chum slick.
Where and when you fish will dictate what bait or technique to use.
Fishing the bridges or passes you will find free-lined baits work best. Feed out the line
and keep your bait flowing with the current. If the line is tight the Tarpon won't bite. This
applies to live bait or cut. Whitebait and cut baits work best in these areas.
Off the beach fishing under a float works well with crabs, whitebait, or pinfish, but
always gave a free lined bait out and a crab rod ready to cast to passing pods of fish.
Tampa bay bridges like the Gandy, Dick Misner, 10 cent bridge, and the Skyway
provide especially hot action at night in the shadow lines of the bridge lights.
Tarpon tackle consists of spinning gear in the 6000 size range and conventional gear of
10-30 class reels on 7-8 ft. 20-40lb class rods. Load the reels with 30-60lb braid.
Attach 5-6 feet of 60lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and attach a 6/0 circle hook. And then