tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By JAY MASTRY
Published April 3, 2006


The big numbers of our spring run of Kingfish will show up along our coast this week.

We caught schoolie-size kings on Saturday, slow-trolling live baits 5 miles south of the Egmont ships channel. Working depths from 45 to 50 feet over hard bottom in the area known as Short Jack was the most productive. Other reports of scattered catches ranged from Longboat Key to Clearwater.

Gathering quality Kingfish bait has been difficult on the south end of Pinellas County. The full grown greenbacks, Spanish sardines, and whitebait seemed to have scattered following last week's cold front. Using gold hook rigs, we were able to jiggle up small- and mid-size bluerunners and juvenile bluefish at some of the buoys lining the ship channel beginning at number 9 and 10, but the preferred minnows weren't there.

And while much of the bait at the well-known bait holes is not suitable for Kingfish bait, weeding through them will likely get you enough to fish with.

The ladyfish supply is healthy and there seems to be more bluefish around then ever. We have managed all we want using tandem rigged jigs in area passes and bridges leading to the gulf. Shad have begun to show up sparingly and mullet can be castnetted in many of the residential canals.

--Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.