Inshore: Spanish mackerel are abundant along the beach, including Blinds Pass, Pass-a-Grille channel, John's Pass, Clearwater Pass and Bunces Pass. They're also tearing up glass minnows along the shipping channel from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Gandy Bridge. Either anchoring or drifting will produce limits of fish. Hook small scaled sardines (whitebait) through the pectoral fin with a No. 1 long-shank hook and free-line them in a chum slick. When drifting through a school, cast ¼-ounce gold or silver spoons and buzz it just below the surface.
Offshore: Kingfish action is hot along the beach from Clearwater Pass south to Egmont Key. Targeting the 20-foot depth and free-lining greenbacks (threadfin herring) has been the key. Lately, anchoring and chumming has outproduced trolling, but when the tide slacks, trolling is best.
Red grouper is good, and gag grouper is starting to turn on in the 40- to 60-foot depths. Mangrove snapper are at the same depths and can be caught if the tackle is scaled down from grouper-sized stuff.
Tournaments: Team Desperado, with Bryan Wallace, Charlie Dewire, and Jack Vasilaros, won the open division of the Fall Suncoast Kingfish Classic at Gators on the Pass with a 41.76-pound king. In the Class of 23 division, Team Get Snookerd took top honors with a 28.43-pound king. The ladies winner was Chelsea Celamare of Team Wicked weighing a 35.30-pounder. Nathanial Hall of Team Rambunctious won the youth division, bringing in a 25.20-pounder.
Landlubber: Look for redfish in shallow tidal pools on the flats during the new and full moon phases that trigger negative low tides. Fish cut sardines and dead shrimp right on the bottom.
Spanish mackerel are an easy target for pier anglers. Use a 2-ounce double-swivel weight attached to a silver spoon with a 5-foot leader.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376 or email@example.com.