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Tarpon Surprise

Capt. Ted Nesti
August 18, 2016
St. Petersburg - Saltwater Fishing Report

TARPON SURPRISE
Although our recent unusually high temperatures have created challenges to normal fishing patterns, they have also provided some exciting and unexpected opportunities as I found out on my most recent trip.

I was targeting redfish and my go-to bait, pilchards and shad, proved plentiful but too small to be useful. While at the boat ramp, I spied a school of mullet and tossed my net just to see what I'd pull up. Scored a few good-sized enough to use for cut bait, but also landed a decent quantity of finger mullets, so decided to change things up a little and give these guys a try.

I began by fishing the docks in the Jungle Prada area of Boca Ciega Bay, dead-sticking using cut mullet on a jig head. It took a while and I did land a couple nice reds, but the action was short-lived. While biding my time, I looked across the bay toward the channel and SURPRISE! caught the silver flash of tarpon. I wasn't really rigged for tarpon but, not having much success at the docks, I motored out to the edge of the channel to try my luck.

I switched out the jig heads for a regular hook and baited it with finger-mullet. Within just a minute or two it was fish-on! Tarpon are a great sport fish and a real thrill to catch especially when they become airborne. The ones I was catching ranged in size from 2-5 feet and put up a heart-pounding fight before flying out of the water and throwing the hook, robbing me of my photo-op. Still it made for a couple hours of some very exciting fishing. Next time I come prepared!

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Capt. Ted Nesti, a U.S. Coast Guard licensed and insured charter captain, is a Florida native, born and raised on St. Pete Beach. For over 30 years, he has fished the inshore waters of the Tampa Bay area and Pinellas county as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Capt. Ted specializes in inshore, light tackel fishing targeting redfish, snook, trout, sheepshead, and sharks from his fully equipped 2008 Carolina Skiff 198 DLV Elite with a 115 Evinrude E-TEC engine.

Contact Info:

Captain Ted Nesti Inshore Fishing
7701 Starkey rd.
#447
Seminole, FL 33777
Phone: 727-393-6129
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