Changing conditions: Cold fronts have become common in the past few weeks. Expect more to follow. We've been consistently pulling nice-sized gags from 30- to 50-foot depths. A few keeper red grouper have been mixed in at a few of the same locations.
Cold-water kingfish: We got some nice-sized kings in 80 feet of water a few days back while slow-trolling threadfin herring over a wreck. The herring sent down about 40 feet on the downriggers gave us the best results. As long as the water stays warmer than 68 degrees, there is a chance for late-season kings.
Big sharks: There were large bull sharks cruising around the kings. After having a few kingfish bitten in half, we put the remaining pieces on a big hook and tossed them to the ravaging sharks. Within seconds, my clients were hooked up with big bull sharks, well more than 200 pounds. After getting some awesome video footage, we released the big bruisers. Their numbers will dwindle because of the cooler water. One shark that doesn't seem to be bothered by the colder water is a tiger shark. Tiger sharks are not common in our area, but we've caught a few in 65 feet recently. They are easy to tell from other sharks because they have square snouts and vertical stripes.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at [email protected], jawstoo.com or (727) 439-2628.