Tarpon bite is in full swing!
Boats are lining the beaches from Anna Maria to Clearwater fishing for silver kings. There isn’t a much better feeling than slowly motoring down the beach looking for glimpses of hope that there are monsters lurking when suddenly you spot what could have been a dolphin or wave crest, but instead emerges a school of tarpon rolling and forming their “daisy chain” behavioral “happy” feeding and/or possible mating ritual. It’s an incredible sight to see placing a crab perfectly into the mix in order not to spook them can be a task but when done properly can result in a thump like no other and the long winded fight is on. The tarpon numbers in and around Tampa Bay right now are incredible and multiple schools of 20-50+ fish can be found within eyesight of one another as thousands of these fish migrate up our coast.
Snook are plentiful in and around the beaches and the big females are chewing. Sometimes the pesky males following the big one(s) can interject on your plans, but sizing up your baits can help this. If you’re using live bait go for the hefty pigfish, pinfish, threadfins, and white bait free-lined or with a small knocker rig on the edges of the beaches between the sandbar and beach when fishing from shore and cast all the way onto the shelf of the passes/beaches and let it frantically make its way to the depths from a boat. I’ve seen and heard many inshore captains throughout Tampa bay and the coastline pulling the 35-40 inch snook that everyone can’t wait to hook this time of year.
The weather, as per usual during this month and these summer months force you to keep a close eye. Be sure to check your favorite weather apps for the usual afternoon storm rolling in. I typically bounce between the windy app, Navionics plus, and MyRadar throughout the day.
I was fortunate enough to have Castaway Customs install Seadek on my 2200 Pathfinder earlier this month and let me tell you this stuff is incredible! I know I’m a little late in the game on it… but it’s better late than never and now once having it installed, I couldn’t imagine fishing without it. I haven’t worn sandals on the boat since it was installed and it never gets too hot! My biggest worry before having it installed was how tough it would be to clean and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Anytime I see a stain throughout the day I splash some water on it and typically only need to use my toe to rub it out a few seconds and like magic it’s gone. With a good scrub after my trips leaves my boat looking brand new again! From start to finish, the process was seamless working with Kyle Lessard from Castaway Customs here in St. Petersburg, he helped me choose right the patterns and colors, measured and scanned the boat, followed-up after process, and the attention to detail was incredible!
Until next month,
Hi – I’m Captain Skylar Wilks and I am a full-time Tampa Bay Inshore Guide, residing in Madeira Beach. I grew up spending my weekends and summers fishing with my Grandparents who live across the street from the Madeira Beach Marina. In 2011, I moved a bit further south to Fort Myers and attended Florida Gulf Coast University, with a scholarship to play Division 1 soccer. When I wasn’t playing soccer, I was spending my time learning the waters and fishing in Sanibel, Estero Bay, and the Naples area. In 2015, I graduated with a degree in Business Management and moved back to Madeira Beach to launch my fishing business, Inspired Fishing Charters.