Spring is here, and every day brings a new bounty of hungry gamefish. This week my clients got to experience the wrath of giant amberjacks, 50-pound cobias, smoker kingfish and huge Spanish mackerel. By week's end we are sure to see some large spinner sharks cruising the outskirts of this great action. Even the groupers are in place for the season opener April 1. They have actually been a nuisance while trolling for kingfish. Having to take a giant gag grouper off the hook of a plug intended for kings can be scary. Some days we will hook an astonishing amount of these bottom dwellers, all weighing at least 13 pounds. Two days ago was no exception. In an hour we hooked 11 gags on deep diving lures and big king spoons.
Bait: Massive schools of threadfin herring are everywhere west of Clearwater and John's Pass. A sure sign for locating bait schools is diving gannets. A gold hook rig will produce large quantities of these priceless herrings. Blue runners and pilchards are also abundant in these areas.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, jawstoo.com or (727) 595-3276.