August 15, 2016 by Ted Nesti

Trip Info

The Catch

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!

Book your trip with Captain Ted Nesti Inshore Fishing

Captain Ted Nesti Inshore Fishing

Captain Ted Nesti Inshore Fishing trips operate out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Capt. Ted is a Florida native and US Coast Guard licensed captain. With over 40 years of fishing experience, he knows a great deal about fishing the inshore waterways of the T