What's hot: Every type of offshore fishing is on fire. The abnormally cold winter set back our fishing almost a month. Normally we can expect Spanish mackerel and kingfish in mid March. Spanish mackerel arrived in force last week, and great reports came in from anglers fishing the Sunshine Skyway piers and the Gulf of Mexico. The fish can be caught by trolling small gold spoons, plugs and live bait from swim buoys just off the beach out to the nearshore artificial reefs in 30-foot depths. Most kingfish remained offshore in 50- to 60-foot depths, with the markers along the shipping channel producing consistent results. Red and gag grouper, white grunts, trigger fish and mangrove snapper fishing have remained strong in the same depths.
Tip: Always deploy a stinger-rigged flatline while bottom fishing baited with live or frozen bait. Last week, we bagged our limit of schoolie kingfish ranging from 8 to 12 pounds while targeting grouper. All of these fish struck frozen sardines.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at Luckytoo2@aol.com or (727) 397-8815.