The Tampa Bay Times
Kingfish remain the hot topic for many of those heading into the gulf. Upcoming big money tournaments are going to keep it that way into next month. We caught kings all last week in the 20 foot depths along St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island . Bait has been the key and until now in our part of the county – gathering the preferred size offerings has been a chore. For as long as I remember, at this time of year and water temperature where it’s at, acre size schools of bait would settle in along our coastline. Many would hug the beach just outside the swim buoys. Kingfish would be drawn in practically to shore and stay for as long as the water stayed clean. It can change overnight, but until now those huge schools of bait have been inexplicitly absent. I’m no Marine Biologist but I question whether last years Red Tide outbreak has something to do with it. We’ve been scrounging around cast netting mullet, ladyfish or any other exotic species that will troll to get started with. It’s been hit or miss but once we’re fishing, we’ve been able to supplement our bait supply by jiggling up some runners, cigar minnows and any greenbacks or white bait we can on our gold hook rigs. The best of the rest: sheepshead and mangrove snapper have continued a hot bite along the edges of the ships channel in Tampa Bay . Use shrimp to target both or white bait if just dialing in the mangos. A buddy shared photos of a couple 150 plus pound tarpon he caught last week up inside Tampa Bay and we’ve seen some at the Skyway and inside Pass-a-grille in our travels.