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Captain's Corner

By MIKE MANNING

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 22, 2000


The flats fishing has been awesome lately. Bill Sullivan and his two daughters, visiting from Pennsylvania, had a day to remember.

We fished small spoil islands from New Port Richey to Hudson. We also caught several fish around oyster bars and near the mouth of creeks in New Port Richey.

We fished the incoming tide with live greenbacks and pinfish under a float.

We caught about 15 large trout, a few big snook, and several oversized redfish. The slot limits on redfish are 18-27 inches. The redfish we caught were all over the slot limits. What a great day of fishing.

For those looking for larger game fish, there are plenty of tarpon in Tampa Bay. These fish gather in the bay after their summer spawn.

They are there for one reason, to feed on shad. You will see tarpon rolling on the surface and crashing through the shad. Use 20-pound tackle and slow-sinking plastic lures.

Fishing for tarpon using this style takes patience. It will take several casts to get your trophy but it will be worth the wait to catch a giant tarpon on light tackle.

When fishing with lures that have treble hooks, smash the barbs down for your safety. This also will make it much easier to remove the lure from the tarpon's mouth.

- Mike Manning charters out of Port Richey. Call (727) 848-0795.

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