Changing conditions from a cold front Sunday should improve in the next couple of days. The strong west wind made offshore fishing all but impossible. Prior to the front, many anglers found king mackerel fairly close to the beach. Later this week, the wind direction should change to the east. This will draw the king and Spanish mackerel closer to shore. The biggest issue may be locating the bait schools gathering offshore; the key will be to find clean water. Spanish mackerel will traverse between the line of dirty and clean water. Trolling spoons in a zigzag pattern across that line should result in a fairly good catch. King mackerel want much cleaner water then their cousins. The sooner you start your search for the kings after conditions improve, the farther offshore you may have to go. Many seasoned anglers know that the area known as “The Ditch” will hold king mackerel even during a blow. The deeper water of the shipping channel offers them some protection from the rough seas. Typically, the channel markers harbor baitfish and are usually the target of fishermen. Carefully negotiating around these markers may help find king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia and sharks. Make sure you don’t pass by some of the sharper ledges along the channel as the barrage of noisy outboards at the markers will chase them away. Sometimes it pays to be a little different and move away from the crowd.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.