The Tampa Bay Times

Prevailing easterly winds have kept the near shore waters along our gulf beaches fishin’ friendly.  Calm seas and clean water has drawn huge schools of bait to shore and some kingfish and a whole bunch of mackerel have found them.  Saturday morning we caught mackerel, sometimes three and four at a time while anchored and chumming on a piece of crunchy bottom in 20 ft. off St. Pete Beach.  Much of the bait you’ll see “raining” on the surface and marking on your bottom machine are full grown greenbacks.  They’re perfect for the kings but larger than you’ll want for the macks.  Three inch whiltebait works best for the macks and get a bunch of em’ if you go.  A chum bag off the back of the boat can help, however it alone will seldom keep the frenzy constant.  Live chumming will keep the chaos going in your chumline and can fire back up a bite that has begun to taper.  While the weather has been ideal for beach fishing, it’s likely going to take a cold front or two to drop the water temperature into the preferred seventies and expedite the migratory push of big numbers of kingfish to our area.  Although the north and westerly winds associated with each passing front can temporarily hamper fishing, dropping temperatures may hopefully help thwart an attempt of a dreaded red tide bloom to spread.

Captain Jay Mastry