Sunday, May 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captains corner: Cold fronts driving kingfish through bay area

What's hot: Though the recent cold front temporarily put a hold on a kingfish bite that had gotten off to a promising start, it's likely just what we needed to push the next wave of kings south from the cooler waters to the north. While the offshore waters may not be nearly as affected for those who can safely get out there, the nearshore gulf waters will be affected. Waters that had cleansed along our beaches and drawn huge bait schools within a half mile of shore will likely need a few days of easterly winds to clean up again. Each passing front, and the westerly wind associated with them, tends to muddy the shallower water and push the bait schools offshore. The severity of the front dictates the recovery time, but often only takes three or four days.

Tips: Up until this recent blow we were catching good numbers of kings, with some monster mackerel mixed in, by slow-trolling large greenbacks off St. Pete Beach in 17 to 23 feet of water. If the results of recent kingfish tournaments are an indication of what's ahead, we could be in for something special. The top four kings on the most recent leaderboard were more than 40 pounds and the winner was a 54-pound beast.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

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