What's hot: Spanish mackerel are invading nearshore artificial reefs such as St. Petersburg Beach, Treasure Island and Madeira Beach. They can be targeted in several ways, the most common being trolling with a No. 1 planer using 25-30 feet of 40-pound leader and a small silver or gold spoon. There are so many mackerel now that, for those who do not like the drag of a planer, trolling the same size spoons behind a 1- to 3-ounce trolling lead will produce nearly the same results. Another method especially suited to a center-console boat is to use a light spinning outfit and a small gold or sliver plug, and run to the schools of fish that will be revealed by either diving birds or fish striking the surface.
Tip: Almost any chart will have GPS coordinates for these artificial reefs. Usually the published number is for the center of the reef. When these reefs were constructed, the permitted areas were defined by a rectangle 2,000 feet (north to south) by 600 feet (east to west). The reef program placed material in many different locations within these rectangles. Don't restrict your fishing to just the center. Look for high and low profile structure jutting up from the bottom.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.