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Tarpon will make big movements and stage with the approaching full moon. A late full moon in July traditionaly sees a good push of fish working the big tides way up the upper reaches of Tampa Bay. Hard bottom, submerged oyster bars, mud flats, and troughs that hold the essential glass minnow and/ or menhaden will hold good numbers of fish to 150lbs.
Anglers working the potpourri of bait with sinking plugs such as the Mirr-O-lure 65M, 72M, and 52M, and the Cotee Button Eye minnow will produce fish best early in the morning and on the tide changes. The fish can be active rollers at just about any time of day, and not always at dawn. If you find the bait in the same location that held fish on your last outing, be sure to give that area time to show fish before moving on. As a rule of thumb, the full moon will suck the fish into certain areas and hold them there for several days.
The full moon also brings the strong tides ripping through Tampa Bays major bridges. There is no better way to beat the heat then anchoring under the bridges and drifting live baits through the shadow lines and the eddies created by the pilings. While it is a long way from stalking the fish in open water, this technique can be the most effective. Keep your eye out for monster black drum that frequent the bridges at this time of year as well.
These major tides will produce good bites of pompano and permit in the passes, along the beaches, and well inside Tampa Bay. Small jigs and fiddler crabs get the nod.
This moon will see the snook finishing up their spawning in the passes. Linsiders will begin to break up and spread out. Some fish will remain on the outside barrier islands while some will return to the flats, channels, creeks and rivers. While there will be a fish hooked here and there, snook fishing will be off until we see the first minor fronts and changes in the ratio of light to dark in late September and October.
The flats will see action with trout, mackerel, cobia, jacks, redfish, and sharks. Very early mornings, late afternoons and night are the best times to plan a productive day on the flats. Pay particular attention to solunar and tide tables in relation to the time of day for best results.
BEST BET: Tarpon and pompano
Screaming drags and tired arms!!!
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