What's hot: Big Spanish mackerel have started showing up on shallow hard-bottom nearshore areas north of Tarpon Springs. The bigger schools of mackerel soon will show up as water temperatures rise and larger schools of scaled sardines move in. Inshore, the focus has been sightfishing for huge trout and cobia in shallow water.
Tactics: When fishing just off shore, anchor on an area of hard bottom and chum with a combination of live and cut bait. Continue to chum lightly when the mackerel show up so they stay in the area. We also have had kingfish show up in the chum line while fishing for the Spanish mackerel.
Inshore, use the trolling motor or simply drift a grass flat in 3 to 6 feet of water. Look for cobia swimming on the backs of rays or grouped in sandy patches along the flat. Make an accurate cast that leads the fish by only a few feet.
Tackle: A 7-foot medium-action rod and a 3000 series reel lined with 10 to 12-pound test braided line will allow for long, accurate casts and still have enough power to land those bigger fish.
Seth Leto runs Pristine Fishing Charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 385-0382.