What's hot: Traditionally in mid May, most kingfish have moved on and tarpon get top billing. This year appears a bit different. Though tarpon have begun showing up, kingfish have chosen to extend our spring run despite 80 degree water. The Egmont shipping channel has been among the most productive areas, and action has been widespread. Over the weekend, we ran across a batch of kings at markers 15 and 16, the first set outside Egmont Key. Huge schools of juvenile mackerel had drawn the kings in, and most were in the 20-pound range. We and others caught our largest fish on our biggest baits. Ladyfish, bluerunners and mackerel all worked well.
Tarpon fever: John McLay got the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup kicked off by winning the Hilltide Tournament, releasing a silverking in the hole at Egmont Key. Other reports of tarpon have come from Clearwater Beach, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.
Great catches: Several reports of caught and released tarpon have come from the Skyway bridge. One less fortunate was Timmy Deacon. He has video of two savage bull sharks helping themselves to a tarpon he was battling and intending to let go.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142