It's likely will be at least a couple of weeks before we can realistically expect a big push of kingfish from the north, but it's never too early to get ready. I've already begun twisting wire. Having a batch of premade rigs prevents scrambling when you get the "they're here" call. I'll premake a hundred rigs. Some will be double stingers for ladyfish, mullet and mackerel. Most will be assorted-sized single stinger rigs. Some will be shorter for whitebait and greenies. Others a bit longer for big blue runners in the prop wash. A few will be premade with assorted colored kingbuster skirts. Others with a trolling weight. All will be individually placed in an airtight zip-locked plastic bag. I use single strand tournament straight wire that won't hold a memory, regardless of how long they remain coiled. I start accumulating tackle early and stretch it out over a period of time. Box of hooks here, box of trebles there. A sleeve of wire and a batch of swivels one day, a spool of fluorocarbon another. I'll get a dozen sabiki rigs each time I go to the tackle shop rather than all at once. It seems to ease the pain and, temporarily, lighten the load on your wallet. In the meantime, "mangos" are still chewing the bottom out of the boat along the edges of the ships channel. Take along a big pole if you go. We're getting hammered by large grouper a time or two each trip.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.