Kingfish season is in high gear with kings being caught up and down the beaches. Reports from Egmont Channel, Betty Rose, Redington Pier and the Skyway have been good. Many kingfish are caught in and around live bait schools by slow-trolling live bait.
The live bait situation is strong with big pods of Spanish sardines, threadfins and blue runners migrating north. Gold hook rigs work best in deep water.
Blackfin tuna also is hot. You usually can count on good catches off shrimp boats in 110 feet. If not successful, move to the next boat. Live Spanish sardines free-lined off the transom to the shrimper works best for us.
Amberjack, grouper and mangrove snapper are excellent in 90-120 feet. We have been getting all the action we want after spending a few early hours kingfishing. Remember: Big baits catch big fish. The bigger the baits, the bigger the amberjacks. Blue runners are best for amberjacks and live sardines for mangrove snappers up to 8 pounds.
- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call 727 709-9396 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org