What's hot: A couple of major kingfish tournaments are scheduled for this month, and the kings are showing up in better numbers to oblige. Along with a handful of giant bull redfish, Joe Lowery and his group caught a couple of 20-pound kings over the weekend. Slow trolling large whitebait and greenbacks in the "parking lot," an area 5 to 6 miles off Blind Pass in 26 to 30 feet, produced a couple smaller ones. We caught two kings Saturday and lost a few others while mackerel fishing off St. Pete Beach. Anchored over patchy hard bottom 11/2 miles off the beach in 20 feet has produced outstanding mackerel fishing.
Technique: There is no substitution for live chumming. Because of their fast, slashing nature, kings and macks prefer their baits to be moving and frisky. The best way to incite a bite is a handful or two of crippled baits tossed behind the boat and dancing on the surface.
Tips: As water temperature inches toward the preferred 70s, look for action to increase. The stage is set for a productive fall run.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142