What's hot: Before the north wind started blowing, we had a long stretch of days with an offshore breeze, making for excellent conditions for nearshore fishing. Spanish mackerel, kingfish and big sharks have been good within a couple miles from shore.
Baiting up: Whitebait (or pilchards) has been plentiful in the swash channel along the beach. Loading your livewell full of 2- to 3-inchers will ensure constant action on nearshore hard-bottom areas. A fresh, tournament-grade chum block will draw the fish in from a greater distance than live chummers.
Tactics: Using light rods spooled completely with 15-pound braid will give you ample line to land most kingfish hooked on small baits. Bring plenty of bait so you can chum aggressively.
What else: Big black tip and spinner sharks are following the mackerel and chances are you're going to encounter them while fishing. Tired of getting beaten by them, we stepped it up with some heavy wire and big circle hooks. Sending the remains of a mackerel out after it had been ravaged by a shark drew more in.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.