What's hot: If you're looking for an easy way to catch fish without taking a boat out, head to the Sunshine Skyway fishing piers. While one section (bay side) is closed to vehicles and pedestrians, the other side (gulf side) lets vehicles on the north and south piers. And what could be simpler than loading all your stuff and driving right to where you're going to fish?
Seasons change: One sure sign of spring is the early arrival of Spanish mackerel. Paul Bristow, a pier employee, says they are showing now. Bristow reports catches of small, just barely legal-sized macks mixed in with catches of larger Spanish mackerel, a favorite target because of their willingness to bite just about any flashy bait.
Tackle: One popular lure savvy pier anglers use to catch these toothy critters is the spoon. There are many color variations available — white, gold, etc. But some say nothing beats the silver spoon. One of the best mackerel catchers came to fruition in St. Petersburg: the Clark spoon squid.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 510-4376.