Tactics: The offshore wrecks are holding good numbers of amberjack. Quite often, you'll get multiple hookups once you hook the first fish. I often tell clients that catching bait is the most important part of the trip. Large frisky pinfish, blue runner, threadfin herring and porgies are my favorites at this time. Drifting about a mile from shore, we have been filling live wells with these big baits each morning. Gold-hook rigs jiggled along the bottom are producing bigger sizes. Within days we'll start to see the spring migration of giant kings thrashing through these same schools of bait. Each day more schools of bait arrive en masse. Reports should start by midweek from Egmont Channel, the Betty Rose wreck west of Johns Pass and all the Clearwater artificial reefs.
Good trip: Saturday was awesome offshore. Our clients caught at least 70 amberjack about 55 miles from shore over a spring. After about 40 minutes, all anglers were exhausted and we headed home. We caught more than 1,500 pounds of fish in two hours. Anglers new to this sport had many 30-plus-pound fish. We even boated impressive snappers weighing more than 10 pounds apiece.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.jawstoo.com.