Lake Tarpon is a 2,534-acre Fish Management Area near Tarpon Springs, in Pinellas County. Although the largemouth bass population and size structure is excellent, fishing pressure is relatively low. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists regularly sample bass during electrofishing surveys on this lake. In fact, Lake Tarpon is rated one of the Top 10 bass lakes in the state of Florida by FWC fisheries biologists. Primary largemouth bass fishing areas are found among the weeds which rim the shoreline. Bulrush (buggy whips), cattail, and tape grass beds are good places to try. Offshore humps, particularly with submerged vegetation, are productive and bass will school and chase shad in open water during the summer months. Public boat ramps are located at the county parks off U.S. Route 19 and County Road 611 (also known as East Lake Road). These parks are open sunrise to sunset and also offer fishing piers.
Largemouth bass fishing is good. Recent electrofishing surveys indicated a high abundance of bass from 14 to 20 inches, with a few bigger ones in many of the samples. Use spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps in shad imitating colors to find schooling bass in the one to four pound range over submerged grass beds. Use soft plastic baits in black-and-blue and redbug colors when the action slows. Live wild shiners will produce in and around submerged grass beds, and are a good bet to find bigger bass. Bluegill (bream) and Redear sunfish (shellcracker) are still being caught, but the action will slow as fall and winter approach. Use crickets for Bluegill and red wigglers for shellcracker fished under a cork. Fish over shell bars and around shoreline vegetation for the best results. Black crappie (specks) fishing could be the best it has been in recent years. Use live Missouri minnows fished below a cork, and troll or drift small spinners and jigs in 8 to 12 feet of water for best results.