Offshore targets: Kingfish are making their push up the coast right now. Some fish are being caught in the 50- to 60-foot depths. Look for the right baits to get you in the right areas. The shipping channel is the best place to start. We were recently made a quick stop at the whistler buoy, where there were a few cigar minnows and a few Spanish sardines. When these baits start to show up the kings are not far behind.
King mackerel: The larger females should lead the pack of fish down the beach over the next couple of weeks. These fish are smarter than the others since this is not their first trip up the coast, and they run in small packs of six to 10 fish.
Tips: To target these big females, the "match the hatch" approach is best. Look for the mackerel along the beach. Baits include mullet, ladyfish and bluefish, as these are what the fish in the area are feeding on. Smaller baits will be eaten by smaller fish.
Tackle: This often varies by angler. Some prefer spinning gear, and others like conventional gear. Either is fine as long as there is at least 250 yards of line and the reel is fast.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.