Monday, April 23, 2018
Sports

Captain's Corner: Kingfish crawl

If you've not had your fill, kingfish are still being caught along the outer markers of the Ships' Channel. Slow troll Spanish sardines, cigar minnows and greenbacks bunched around the cans. Scattered blackfin tuna have been mixed in, particularly around markers 1 and 2 and The Whistler. Mangrove snapper are cooperating on seemingly every piece of structure. Last weekend we caught them plus grouper and mackerel in 45 feet just south of the channel. We did as well on chunked dead stuff as on live whitebaits. Around here, the next couple of months mean tarpon time. If you didn't get in on the preferred tides during the days surrounding Saturday's full moon, don't worry. The few days before and after the June 4 new moon promise to be just as good. The crab flush will be in full swing during stronger than normal afternoon outgoing tides. Tarpon instinctively know where the largest concentrations pour out and gather in those passes to take advantage. Though there are many options, the north and south ends of Egmont Key often hold big numbers of silver kings. Whether drifting a crab, fly-lining a greenback or chunking a dead bait, the Skyway Bridge always deserves a look during these moon phases.

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

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