Numerous species of game fish are heading our way. Water temperatures on the verge of dropping to the 70s is reason to get excited. Our annual kingfish is about to take place. A few already been have found in shallower depths. Normally we witness sporadic catches of kingfish during the first three weeks of October. By the end of the month, water temperatures drop to the 70s, providing more action. Last week we caught endless amounts of Atlantic bumpers (also called pumpkin seeds) 30 miles offshore. They aren't normally the first choice for filling live wells but do occasionally produce. They're usually found in the bay and along the beaches, a sign of a massive bait migration taking place. Pumpkin seeds are commonly found mincing in with schools of threadfin herring and blue runners. These baits are a main food source for kingfish. A few days later we found them again. They were mixed in with schools of threadfin herring 7 miles from shore. Two days later, giant Spanish mackerel and a few kingfish were feeding on them. This bait activity moving toward shore doesn't just attract pelagic fish. Gag grouper are close behind these bait migrations. Many of our inshore rocks and ledges will start to hold gags.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.