Tarpon Springs fishing guide Capt. Rich Knox of Absolute Florida Flats Fishing, inshore shallow water backcountry fishing charters in New Port Richey, Clearwater, and Tarpon Springs reports good Tarpon fishing with the mild easterly winds we’ve been experiencing. Nice pods of big Tarpon are in the pre spawn mode just off our beach’s, and in the area pass’s, feeding on scaled sardines, threadfin herring, pinfish, pumkin seed’s, and crab’s if your lucky enough to find and catch them. Stout tackle is needed with a strong rod with an fast tip for long accurate casting rated in the 20 -40 lb. class, rigged with a 8000 series spinning reel with 250-300yard capacity spooled with 50 lb. braid topped of with a 5′-7′ piece of fluorocarbon leader of 60 to 80 lb. with a 5/0 or 6/0 size live bait hook. Stealth is a big requirement as to not spook your quarry, silent approach’s by trolling motor are a necessity, stay off the fish and learn which way there moving and go way around these pod’s to keep them on top at a slow speed a couple hundred yards is best so they don’t sound on you, get around to the front of them a good way’s and use trolling motor on low speed’s to get into position. Now that your ready to cast if multiple lines are going to be employed set one up free lined bait, small split shot #2 above hook on one rod with a pinfish, and if there are 3 rig one with a float 4′-5′ up the line, this will let you have a bait at every depth, usually these fish are stacked in many different depths.
The snook fishing is really good on the better tides in and around the pass’s and beach’s, again scaled sardines, threadfins, pinfish are the best offerings for these spawning monsters on light tackle spinning rods rigged with 10 to 20 lb. braid and 4′ piece of 30 lb. fluorocarbon leader, when you feel the pick up reel in any and all slack the current, wind, or bait may have swam in your line and set the hook when you feel the weight of the fish there is an old saying in the flats fishing industry (crank before you yank) and hold on as these healthy fish make your drag sing !