What's hot: Fishing for the pelagics that either migrate through or take up residence off our coast has been outstanding. Kingfish were late in showing up but have arrived in force. We have been targeting them every day with great results. The majority of our efforts have been directed toward the shipping channel markers 5 and 6, with the area a mile south of them being the most productive. In past years mid April has been the height of the season, but this year it looks like mid May will be the peak. Bait choice has been frustrating. One day the fish are willing to strike anything either live or artificial, and the next day only one bait will produce. We have had days when the fish want to eat only blue runners, another when only live Spanish sardines or hardtails will produce.
Tip: Always have in the live well a variety of baits caught on site by sabiki and start by using a slow-trolled mixture. If one bait is producing, switch all lines to that bait. Barracuda have started to produce great catch-and-release moments on live and artificial baits on all the wrecks and artificial reefs. We have seen them for the past two weeks, but as usual, they would not strike anything placed in front of them. Catching them on light spinning tackle or conventional gear will produce an epic battle.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.