What's hot: After a windy and unsuccessful ride Sunday to a local reef for kingfish, we decided to go inshore for Spanish mackerel. Inside of Egmont Key near the bridge we found large numbers of big Spanish mackerel, which were easily found by watching for diving birds and feeding frenzies. We put a chum bag behind our anchored boat and periodically tossed in cut bait to bring the mackerel in close.
Tactics: Toss out a few chummers, give the chum bag a shake or two, then wait for the mackerel to hit. Cast a live threadfin herring. By the count of three, you likely will have a screaming drag and a fast-pulling mackerel on.
Gear: Use a light- to medium-action spinning rod with 10- to 15-pound test line, a 30-pound leader and a long-shank 2/0 hook. Take a frozen chum block and catch plenty of live bait, which can be found at any marker in the shipping channel or bridges. Fill the well and a bucket. Use the ones in the bucket to cut up and toss into the chum line.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center at (727) 518-7637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.