The Tampa Bay Times
Dave Zalewski 460-9893
Many anglers turn their thoughts to other species besides kingfish once The King of the Beach Tournament is over, Kingfish and their smaller cousins , Spanish mackerel, are still around in good numbers and successfully fishing for kingfish will continue until at least June. Spanish mackerel fishing will get better every day throughout the summer months. Trolling with spoons and plugs is a great way to determine if they are present where one is fishing, Once they are located , anchoring, deploying a chum bag and light tackle live baiting with sabiki caught baits provides much more sport. A 6 inch length of light wire leader should be used with a stinger rig for the kingfish and a single hook for the Spanish mackerel. This type of fishing is great for kids who will be soon out of school because they can be kept busy catching bait until a larger fish is hooked.
Further offshore Lane snapper has become a favored target in the 80 foot depths on the Swiss cheese hard bottom areas. Using light spinning tackle or bait casters with a 2 hook snapper rig and strips of squid has been the key to some banner catches. Fish the same areas as when targeting red grouper but downsize to a strong 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook