What's hot: Area tournament kingfishing started with impressive numbers during last weekend's SKA event out of Sarasota. A 41-pounder captured the grand prize and a pair of 38-pounders and a pair of 37-pounders rounded out the top five. We managed a 31-pounder in the Egmont shipping channel. The majority of fish weighed by the 73-boat field, however, were caught south of here, an indication the bulk of the kings haven't made it this far north yet.
Promising outlook: Windy and cooler conditions at the beginning of this week have done little to help the migration process, but the extended weather forecast appears promising. The warming trend will return the gulf to the preferred low 70s, and strong tides of the current full-moon phase will aid in flushing muddy water.
Additional options: Bottom fishing can help fill the void while waiting on better numbers of kings. Now that grouper are fair game, take along some bottom rods with your trolling gear. We recently aborted a slow kingfish trip by bouncing the bottom in 45 feet, southwest of Pass-a-Grille. We ended up with more than 30 mangrove snapper and a handful of grouper on baits originally intended for kingfish.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142.