The traditional start of the spring kingfish run is Tuesday, and there are a few reports of scattered activity. Recent cold fronts and lower-than-normal water temperature have kept them south. Trolling spoons and plugs at markers 9 and 10 and 1 and 2 in the Egmont channel, early hot spots, produced only "holes in the water." Bottom fishing is excellent in 50 to 60 feet with almost nonstop action from gag and red grouper of all sizes, large white grunts, triggerfish and mangrove snapper. Red grouper season opens today. To target keepers (20 inches or larger), travel to the 80- to 90-foot depths. Clients have had so much fun bottom fishing with 10- to 15-pound class bass tackle during the grouper closure that it will be hard to break out the traditional 40- to 50-pound class outfits that prevent them from getting to the sharp rocky outcroppings. We have "hooked" several anglers on light tackle to match the size of the smaller reef dwellers.
Hot spot: Jigs, spoons and live bait have produced limit catches of Spanish mackerel close to sunrise and late afternoons at the Sunshine Skyway piers.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at Luckytoo2@aol.com or (727) 397-8815.