Kingfish are on the minds of many. Beginning today out of John's Pass and nearly each weekend through this month, big money kingfish tournaments will highlight much of the angling activity. Kingfish have been slow to arrive in the numbers we traditionally find this time of year. The size of those caught, however, have made up for it. Several in the 30-pound class have been reported, and there has been some 40s mixed in. Boaters as well as land-based anglers have gotten in on the action. Several smokers have been hauled over the rails of the Redington Long Pier and both Skyway fishing piers. Weather is largely to blame for the relatively slow start to our spring run along the nearshore gulf waters. Each passing front stirs up the shallow water along the beaches, forcing bait to scatter and pushing kings farther offshore and more difficult to locate. You can bet, even in less-than-ideal conditions, there's going to be some big kingfish caught in today's tournament. Some are going to be caught in the mouth of Tampa Bay and a good chance a few will be caught well up inside of it. Those willing and able to get offshore will find cleaner water and schools of bunched-up bait.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.