Spring is here: Every year when water temperatures rise into the low to mid 70s, the huge migrations of bait such as threadfin herring and Spanish sardines fill beaches and offshore waters. Right behind are predators such as king and Spanish mackerel, cobia, sharks and tarpon. Blind Pass drop, Redington hard bottom and areas just west of St. Pete Beach have produced a few nice kingfish of 25-40 pounds. Fish are in those areas feeding on bluefish, ladyfish and threadfins, so use those as bait. An early start is best, but more important is the solar periods.
Offshore: Grouper fishing has been spectacular in 30-90 feet. Every ledge or rock pile there has produced gag and red grouper, with most larger fish coming from live bait. Depths of 120-160 feet have produced more of the same, but much larger fish.
Others: Amberjack fishing has been consistent on most wrecks and other high-profile ledges in 90-120 feet. But many fish there are smaller. At 150 feet or deeper, there are many fish from 40-50 pounds. They have been feeding aggressively on artificial baits.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at fintasticinc.com or (727) 642-3411.