What's hot: The long stretch of unseasonably warm temperatures made for some interesting fishing last week. Many sought kingfish with great success. Large kingfish were ravaging massive schools of mullet in preparation for the offshore voyage to spawn. This pre-spawn ritual held some impressive numbers. This combined with warmer water lured in hungry kingfish along the beaches and into the Egmont channel. Reports of skyrocketing kingfish near the mouths of many inlets were common all last week.
Tips: A water temp above 68 is a good reference — giant mackerels don't use a calendar for migration. In past seasons, we have had astounding numbers of kings into mid January.
Offshore: Many anglers were pleasantly surprised with blackfin tuna while bottom fishing offshore. The water was about 74 degrees 50 miles out, which seems to be the magic number for these tuna. Most action was out in 150 feet of water, but scattered reports also came from 100 feet. Amberjacks are starting to congregate in mass over many wrecks in the gulf. Some of our largest jacks of the year were last week, a few at more than 50 pounds. Red grouper are still available at 80 feet and deeper.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.