tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

With May's full moon here, tarpon have arrived in their local flats and shorelines. The water temperature is holding above 80 degrees, and bait schools are being showered by the mighty silver king as they work up the beaches. Bridges and passes are loaded with rolling fish foraging on easy meals that flood by in the fast-moving currents.

By JIM HUDDLESTON
Published May 25, 2005


Warmer water has brought in large schools of threadfins and shad that top a tarpon's menu. Deeper greenwater ditches running along shorelines are highways for aggressive fish to ambush these baitfish as the tides push them along the edges. A easy sign for finding shad is the telltale flip that indicates something is making them nervous below. A good 1-inch mesh castnet is key to catching them. Once caught, take extra precautions, like not overcrowding the livewell, to ensure they stay alive. A strong 3/0 hook through the belly will push them down to where tarpon are holding in the water column.

This week's lunar phase creates a strong outgoing tide in the evening that will suck out small crabs and create a feeding frenzy just before the sun sets. The lower part of the tide is extreme and funnels water quickly through more narrow passes such as Hurricane pass and Clearwater pass. On the outside is where you will find tarpon waiting on the buffet of food coming their way. Lower light conditions will work in the angler's favor to capture a fish of a lifetime.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at 727 439-9017 or at jim@captainhud.com