Traditionally, around here we don't think much about kingfish with the water temperature in some places in the mid 80s. This year has been an exception. In spite of water 10 degrees warmer than they like it, scattered kingfish were reported from practically everywhere this weekend. Many were caught within a couple of miles of shore. Easterly winds have had them tucked up tight to the beach along Blind Pass. Full grown Spanish mackerel have been mixed in with them. Others were caught on offshore wrecks and reefs holding the most bait. There were catches of kings along the mouth of Tampa Bay as they ambushed bait schools flushed in and out with the tide. And a few were caught several miles inside the Skyway Bridge as they follow tinker mackerel and other bait. It's little surprise, with abundant bait and the heat, that tarpon have hung around longer than usual. While some fish hang around year-round in some backwater spots, some marinas and even residential canals, this year's different. Big numbers have stayed behind. In two trips an angler recently jumped 15 silverkings; he caught and released several while fly-lining greenbacks at the Skyway Bridge.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.