What's hot: For several weeks we've been getting a few king mackerel, but as the cold fronts bear down on us from the north, we can expect the kings to move in with greater urgency. Catches are improving daily. The amount of baitfish along the beaches and on many offshore reefs will attract and keep the migrating fish around. Finding a school of bait will almost guarantee success. Look for diving birds or fish chasing bait out of the water. Just one tern striking the surface may be all you'll see.
More mackerel: Near shore, Spanish mackerel catches have been awesome. We've landed some of the largest mackerel we've seen all year. Trolling has been the easiest way to find them. Once they're found, trade the trolling gear for live-bait rods.
Tip: Catching bait along the beaches and in the area passes in advance of heading offshore has been key. You don't want to disrupt the feeding fish by bombarding the school with a Sabiki loaded with lead weights.
Capt. Larry Blue charters the "Niki Joe" from Madeira Beach Marina in Madeira Beach. Contact him at www.CaptainLarryBlue.com, (727) 871-1058, (727) 397-3773.