So much for getting too hot too fast. It was a concern a couple of weeks ago when water temperatures were flirting with 80 degrees in some areas. We worried that the masses of kingfish might blow right by us as they sought that 70-75 temperatures they like as they push northward during this spring run. Though we might have to put kingfishing on the back burner for a bit, this little flurry of cold fronts might be just what we needed to stretch our season through April. Nearshore gulf waters are dirty, and they’re going to be that way for a little while. Bait has scattered but will bunch back up when these westerly winds associated with each passing front subside. Bait has been slow to return to many of my most-dependable grass flats. The deeper water at the Skyway fishing piers and the Pass-a-Grille tripod has been consistent. Though it likely will temporarily change, on Tuesday I observed a lot of bait at both fishing piers on Fort De Soto. Following these big blows, when we can safely and comfortably get back to it, I’ll often target the ships channel. The many buoys that line the “ditch” often attract schools of bait before anywhere else. How far we need to travel to find clean water will be determined by how long and hard it blows. I’ll often start at markers 5 and 6 and head west from there. The sets are approximately 1½ miles apart making it easy to navigate, and the buoys provide great reference points when dialing in your trolling pattern.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.