Spanish mackerel fishing off our beaches has provided consistent action. Set up over natural hard bottom areas or scattered artificial reefs and begin chumming to bunch the fish up behind the boat. A combination of a frozen chum block hung off the transom, occasional handfuls of live offerings tossed out, and slivers of fresh cut bait diced into the slick will draw them in and put them in a competitive feeding mood. Nose-hooked live baits will not be rejected. Artificial lure enthusiasts can find success with jigs, small spoons, top water selections, and flies. A small trace of light wire ahead of the lure or live bait is recommended. Other species are attracted to the chum and concentrated commotion. Expect snapper to rise off the bottom as small grouper, jacks, ladyfish, bonito and sharks contribute the action. Watch for schools of extra large breeder redfish marauding up and down the beaches. Bird activity, specifically tight groups of frigates, often give away their location.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 510-1009.