What's (not) hot: Though there was a great angler turnout at a recent king mackerel tournament, the lack of kingfish caught may be telling. The annual spring run of king mackerel has been pale by the standards of many seasoned anglers in the Tampa Bay area. Some are saying we may be paying the price for targeting the large breeder kings. Prevailing weather conditions haven't helped locate the fish, with typically wind-battered rough seas. But weather can't take the blame for the insufficient number of kingfish caught when the wind isn't blowing. A normal spring day should provide mind-boggling numbers of "schoolie" king mackerel, but that's just not the case this year.
Warmer than normal water that is already in the mid 80s may mean we are coming to the end of king mackerel fishing for this season. Calls to charter boats south of Tampa Bay have revealed no kings. Several big kingfish were caught several miles from shore. Enthusiasts are optimistic that the king mackerel might still be staged offshore in deep water and the abundant bait on our beaches could draw them closer. Otherwise, a long boat trip to cooler/deeper water may be necessary.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.