Spring is quickly transitioning into summer and as the seasons change so does an angler’s daily game plan.
Summer can bring big fish opportunities. Tarpon, snook, cobia and sharks all thrive in the warm water. Inlets offer the right elements to attract all of these big fish.
Structures, strong current flow and deep water attract baitfish and in turn predators.
The bridges can be outstanding at times, especially at night. Shadow lines from street lights attract baitfish and making it easier for tarpon and snook to feed. Heavy tackle is often needed to work big fish around pilings and fenders.
Away from the bridges, look for structures that offer a break in the current. Jetty rocks are among the more obvious choices fitting the description, but sand points near the passes will often have a deep curve nearby that will offer a staging area for all three species.
Also, check rocky areas around bridges. Most of these spots will fish better on one tide or another, but typically the prime spot will be a small bend on the up-current side of the point.
Jetty fishing often gets good this time of year. A versatile angler can hope to hook into trout, redfish, snook, pompano, flounder and small grouper. You get the picture. These spots attract fish as well as fishermen.
Hitting these spots early will give you the best chance for consistent hookups. Standard practice would be to start out free-lining live pilchards on medium sized tackle right against the rocks.
Depending on how that’s going it’s always a good idea to have at least one person fishing closer to the bottom and just away from the rocks, typically this can be achieved by adding a small split-shot to the leader. Keeping a heavier rod out the back with larger bait will give you a shot at hooking a tarpon or some other big predator.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at email@example.com. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.