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Captain's corner

By DOUG HEMMER

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 1, 2000


Knowing where to find migrating schools of king mackerel is the most important part of kingfishing.

Full spools, live bait and sharp hooks won't do much good if the area you are fishing holds no kingfish. I use several methods to keep up with the schools.

The first is to read fishing magazines that cover all of Florida. This provides information on how the summer run is going in the Panhandle. I also will be able to find out when they departed that area and headed south for the winter. When the schools start to get close to our area, I read the newspaper reports from north Pinellas County.

The next steps are to read the Captain's Corner, talk to other captains and listen to stories from the weekend warriors.

When the kings hit our area, I concentrate most on the depth of water in which the schools are running. Most kings will be where the water is clean and full of bait.

Light winds from the east keep the kings close to shore. If the winds are strong out of the south, west or north, you need to head farther offshore to search for cleaner water.

I also pay close attention to a close-knit group of friends, important because kingfish anglers are famous for sending others in the wrong direction.

- Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.

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