Strong winds: The front that moved through gave us less-than-ideal conditions for offshore fishing. Strong west winds will silt the water column with suspended sand; fish don't like it and will move farther offshore until conditions improve in a few days.
Kings in the trap-line: The stone crab pots located just off the beach are filled with bait to attract crabs, but they also act, accidentally, as a chum slick. King and Spanish mackerel that were on the beach earlier last week were drawn in by the incidental chum and the abundance of baitfish. Trolling for Spanish mackerel was almost too easy, providing continuous action and outstanding catches. While trolling, larger king mackerel were free-jumping all around us as they chased smaller fish.
Shark bite: After filling a cooler full of mackerel, my clients wanted to try for shark; large sharks were seen harassing the mackerel schools. We anchored the boat and set out a freshly caught mackerel for bait. It wasn't long before an 85-pound spinner shark took the mackerel. The shark hit with such ferocity that the 4/0 reel was nearly spooled by the run. Soon, another strike came from a 14-pound kingfish.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.