Daily fishing report

Published April 4, 2005

The few days we got out last week before a weekend front brought high winds and turbulent seas gave us an indication of what is to come when the winds calm. Because of the longer days and higher temperatures, water temperatures jumped from the 60s to the magic 74 degrees.

Spanish mackerel were strong at the South County artificial, striking No.1 spoons trolled behind small weights and 31 planers. At times, they became a nuisance to anglers using Sabiki rigs, striking the gold hooks and baitfish as they were reeled in. The rigs' light lines are no match for the sharp mackerel teeth.

Kingfish were still spotty with reports of some larger fish caught on the Clearwater hard bottom. This is typical of kingfish runs, with the largest being caught at the beginning and end of the season. Last year, we were catching kingfish on flat lines deployed while bottom fishing in July. We hope for a repeat.

Grouper fishing was good in 60-70 feet with almost every bait working because of the falling barometric pressure. We sorted through numerous gags of 20-21 inches for keepers. Mangrove snapper were caught in the same depths by downsizing tackle, using small pinfish, sardine tails and smaller live baits caught on the way out at artificial reefs.

--Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at 727 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2@aol.com