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Captain's corner

By DAVE MISTRETTA

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2001


The tarpon migration will move closer to us as water temperatures climb. A few pods have been spotted easing along beaches, but don't count on much for a few more weeks. A massive flow of fish then will be easily located daily. A pre-spawn ritual of this magnitude consists of thousands of tarpon schooling near shore.

Sight-casting live bait is the most productive method used by many anglers. A pinfish tossed directly in front of the school's path is sure to get its attention. Once the fish have been spotted, carefully maneuver the boat a good distance ahead. Tarpon are spooked easily, so keep noise to a minimum. Shut off all outboard motors before the fish reach casting proximity. The exhaust from this type of marine engine bellows beneath the water, causing a disturbing noise and scattering the silver kings. Silence and extreme patience are the most important tools for a tarpon excursion.

- Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, or e-mail sales@jawstoo.com.

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