Great fishing: We have finally started to catch kingfish in many different depths. The most popular spots have been from the artificial reefs 10 miles out (40 feet) to about 18 miles (65 feet). If you draw attention from other reef fish, the kings will eventually show up behind the boat. We have been running numerous bottom fishing trips over the past week. Anchoring in 45 to 60 feet has produced more than enough grunts for dinner and king and Spanish mackerel on most outings. We start the process by simply dropping double-hook rigs with chunks of squid. Immediately, the Key West grunts and porgies begin to feed aggressively. After a few minutes, larger grouper come over to investigate the commotion. Eventually, a king or two will follow to join in on the feeding frenzy.
Predictions: Water clarity was an issue over the past week if you targeted kings. But it should clean up a bit. Longer days combined with plenty of sunshine will eventually warm the water temperatures. This past week, they were about 64 degrees, which is cold for this time of year. We should see 68 by the end of the week if the weather stays nice. My educated guess for the arrival of a big push of kings is the second week of April. Once water temperatures rise to the magical 70s, the action will be nonstop at many locations. Every day will get better during April, one of my favorite months to fish.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.