What's hot: Evidenced by the most recent tournament, plenty of large kingfish remain in our area. The main run of smaller, schoolie king mackerel might head north soon as the gulf warms rapidly. Trolling for Spanish mackerel close to shore hasn't shown much promise, but we are doing a little better farther out. The biggest challenge has been floating seaweed; finding clean water is worth the effort. Watch for schools of sardines to find both species of mackerel. Trollers might have to hang up their gear until fall; live bait is the order of the day.
Tips: Sharks are along our coast behind the mackerel. On a recent outing we caught several species including blacktip, spinner and sharpnose shark. Large hammerheads and big bull sharks will soon follow as tarpon move closer. May is one of the best months for shark fishing in the Tampa Bay area. New moon tides will move lots of water this afternoon, and will be the preferred time for fishing.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com.