Finally, after several days of heinous winds, Tampa Bay has settled down a bit and the fishing is good. Take advantage of nice days if possible. It is sometimes especially hard to shed responsibility to go fishing, but it is usually worth it.
What's hot: Spanish mackerel schools are still nailing almost anything in their paths. The macks have been unusually large this year but not many anglers have complained. The mackerel are especially abundant this season as well as kingfish. Many large king mackerel, including numerous tournament winners, have been caught well inside of the Skyway. Rob Gorta caught a big king just south of the Gandy Bridge several years ago.
Tips: Always bring an extra jacket this time of year. No matter what, there is always the passenger who insists that it is not cold. Try whisking across a large section of cool water, at 35 mph. I have seen many miserable anglers who underdressed for the conditions. Also, use bad weather days to be prepared. The last few days of howling wind have provided time for maintenance issues and just general repairs, like fixing holes in cast nets and so forth. Trying to fish in bad weather usually leads to a nautical nightmare instead of a fun day on the water, and therefore should be avoided.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.