The best fishing periods in our area are April through the first two weeks of May and the last two weeks of October through all of November. Baitfish arrive with their attendant predators, kingfish, cobia, Spanish mackerel, bonita and barracuda, on their trek north in the spring and return in the fall.
Tip: There are areas of gulf bottom that resemble desert sand with no structure or life. Whether trolling hardware or live bait, avoid these areas and concentrate on the "oases," live areas of structure rising from the bottom. Structure may consist of many things, including areas of limestone not covered by sand, limestone ledges, artificial reefs, shipwrecks and any type of channel marker, whether it is a piling driven into the bottom or a buoy tethered to a large concrete sinker by a chain. Don't waste time blind-trolling. Start where the fish are concentrated.
What's hot: Just before the last front, Spanish mackerel were abundant between John's Pass and Pass-a-Grille within 2 miles of shore. It seemed that every patch of rock had become home to the baitfish on which mackerel were feeding aggressively. Their larger cousins, kingfish, are concentrated along the Egmont channel, from markers 9 and 10 west to the Whistler Buoy that denotes the start of the channel.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached Luckytoo2@aol.com or (727) 397-8815.