What's hot: The spring kingfish run is still going despite the recent cold front that churned the near-shore waters. Before the bad weather, kings were thick just off the beaches from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. Now the water in that area is dirty, and the kings and baitfish have moved on. To find the kings, start by looking for clean water. Anglers scouting for today's Wild West Kingfish Tournament out of John's Pass reported having to run to 60 feet to find desirable clarity. Good bait also has disappeared within 5 miles of shore. The weekend forecast looks good for a run out to deeper water. So skip the beaches and start looking 8-10 miles offshore. When you find the fish, odds are the action will be wide open.
Tips: Although running offshore before catching live bait can be risky, it has paid off recently. We have secured plenty of bait by dropping Sabiki rigs as deep as 100 feet. Watch your sonar for small blobs toward the bottom and drop on each. Blue runners and cigar minnows have been eager to grab bait rigs.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (727) 944-3474.