What's hot: Spanish mackerel have invaded the flats and artificial reefs from Hernando County to Pinellas. The state's west coast has a run of Spanish and king mackerel every fall and spring. Both prefer water temperature in the mid 70s.
Places to look: Kingfish can be found on most of the local artificial reefs, passes, hard bottoms and shipping channels. They can also be located near beaches as they're hunting for baitfish. Spanish mackerel can be found in the same areas but also on shallow flats. A great area is near Marker 10, located 10 miles west of Hudson. The grassy area around Marker 4 near the north end of Anclote Key is also a great place to look.
Tackle and bait: Kingfish can be caught on light spinning tackle like you would use for snook. I like to use an 80-pound monoleader with a long shank hook. You can also use a No. 3 wire, which increases your landing percentage. For Spanish I also like to use a monoleader with 40-pound test and a long shank hook. You can also use wire for Spanish, but you can go down a size to a No. 2.
Use a large white bait for kingfish and small to medium white bait for Spanish.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.