Dave Zalewski Phone 460-9893
2020 is shaping up to be a year to be remembered. In all my years of fishing in this area this is the first time that I have been able to target pelagic fish on a daily basis in February. Perhaps it is that the water temperatures never dipped below the 60 degree mark or that is just an unusual year. We are catching Spanish mackerel, bonita and kingfish on every trip that the weather allows us to leave port. If the water is clean, we are able to catch Spanish mackerel within a mile offshore near any of the passes entering the gulf. Small spoons 30 feet behind a #1 planer is the key to success. If the water is dirty near shore, we will start the hunt at any of the near shore artificial reefs such as St Petersburg Beach or Treasure Island using a #1 planer along with a #2 to cover the water column. These reefs materials are scattered over a two thousand by three hundred feet rectangle and the fish will be concentrated near each high profile structure within that rectangle.
The midwater reefs like South County and Indian Shores have been providing all three species along with a few drag pulling jack crevalle. These reefs are a quarter mile square with the published GPS number at the center of the square.
Bottom fishing has been consistent in the 60 to 70 foot depths with white grunts, Lane and mangrove snapper along with a few keeper red grouper making for a colorful box of tasty table fare. We have experienced several great days of king fishing in these depths by watching the fish finder and trolling #2 and 3 planers with large spoons if several individual fish show up on the screen in the mid-water range.