About 100 yards off Belleair Beach near Clearwater, Fla., under rising winds, darkening skies and fading hopes of hooking a tarpon, Capt. Tyson Wallerstein suggested we head north where a fellow guide and his party were, “busting big reds.”

We were soon in St. Joseph Sound near the southern tip of Caladesi Island. Capt. Tyson tossed out an anchor, turned some mullet into cut bait and we free spooled a couple of medium spinning rods out about 60 yards and waited, happy to have escaped the wind and temporarily gotten away from the rain. 

We didn’t have to wait long. Within five minutes Bryan Hendricks was wrestling with a 34-inch (about 13 pound) redfish. Bryan, Bill AuCoin and I took turns and in 20 minutes had landed and released a 34, two 35 and one 36 inch redfish.

Who needs tarpon?