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June Was Great; July Could Be Even Better

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On: Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 10:12AM | By: Captain Paul Hajash

Hello, Everyone. June provided great Tarpon fishing in the Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL area. The Tarpon arrived in great numbers and have been around since April. We are targeting these large fish along the beaches and bridges of Tampa Bay using large scaled sardines and threadfins for bait. Small blue or pass crabs also work well.

My good friends, Mike and Chick, from Virginia, had great success this June at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. They boated their largest Tarpon to date, estimated at 170–180 lbs. This large female fish ate a threadfin near the slack tide stage. A couple bottlenose dolphin were pestering us just prior to the Tarpon biting. For a few years now the dolphin have learned to grab our baits and slowly pull the fish from the hook. The Skyway Bridge is the only place I have seen this behavior from dolphin.

Several nice Gag Grouper were landed and released while fishing for Tarpon at the bridge. At the time I was wishing it was July so we could take home a few Grouper fillets. Cobia and large Spanish Mackerel were also a by-catch while Tarpon fishing.

I have several repeat clients coming to town just to fish for these powerful fish. If you see a group of boats Tarpon fishing along the beaches, please cruise by slowly keeping a good distance away. You should approach others fishing, drifting with the wind, using your trolling motor or push pole. If you are approached by another boat fighting a large Tarpon cheer them on with hoots and thumbs-up as it could be a fish of a lifetime.


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