What's hot: Kingfish have dominated much of the offshore activity, and the action has been widespread. This past week we caught kings in the Egmont Ships Channel and the Clearwater hard bottom and there's been a bunch caught in between. What's remaining of old artificial reefs in 20 feet off St. Pete Beach and the dropoff Blinds Pass has held good numbers of kings. A few in the 40-pound class have been caught by slow trollers with live bait or those anchored and chumming.
More options: The 26-foot hard bottom about 5 miles west of St. Pete Beach has held better quality size kings. The "parking lot," another 1 1/2 miles out in 28-31 feet, has long been productive. Artificial reefs in 30 feet — St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island and Clearwater — are producing kings and mackerel. Markers 5 and 6 in the "ditch" produced kings; markers 9 and 10 out to 3 and 4 produced kingfish and mackerel.
Bigger fish: Trips within a couple miles off Sand Key produced fewer quantity but better quality size kings. We had them up to 30 pounds, several in the 20s. Saturday we caught kings up to 25 pounds until high winds and rough seas muddied the water on the Clearwater hard bottom and ran us off the beach.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.