Anglers get hooked on tarpon catches
GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.
Tarpon has been the focus of captain Billy Miller and me this week. The tarpon bite has been consistent, with some days spectacular.
Billy and I were joined by Jason Beyer and Brad Weary for a “Hooked on Fishing” tarpon shoot in Tampa Bay. We had the bait well full of live threadfin herring and blue crabs as we headed to Egmont Key to look for rolling tarpon.
The tarpon were rolling in the channel and in the 90-foot hole of the north tip of Egmont. Normally we use corks and suspend the bait under them, but because the water was so deep in the channel, we were free-lining all of our baits.
When we saw the fish roll we slowly moved toward them and cast our baits into the action. Weary had an immediate bite that took the bait with no real hookup. Right after that, Beyer hooked up what turned out to be a 6-foot bullshark that gave him a 30-minute battle before release.
On the next setup, Beyer hooked up again and landed an 85-pound silver king. We took a DNA sample and released the tarpon.
Michael Baccich caught and released a 100-pound tarpon fishing with his brother Steve Baccich, Dave Amis and captain Billy. The fish was hooked off St. Petersburg using white bait under a cork.
On two other trips this week, Miller and party caught and released seven tarpon each day with 10 to 15 hooked.
Tarpon fishing has been good at the Sunshine Skyway, according to Larry Mastry.
Mastry and crew released two tarpon and hooked four more fishing the incoming tide with threadfin herring. Also included in the catch were a 20-pound kingfish and two bull sharks.
Captain William Toney said redfish action is good in Homosassa. Fish Creek, Pea Pass and Mason’s Creek are the hot spots on the incoming tide.
Toney likes a gold spoon or live shrimp under a cork for bait.