This past weekend had us on the prowl for kingfish. We fished inside Tampa bay for large kings that might help us win the big kingfish tournament. Before sunup we netted mullet that were 12 to 18 inches and slow trolled them along the drop of the ships channel. After a few hours with no bites we moved to the 20-foot dropoff of Blinds Pass. where plenty of bait schools, mackerel and sharks kept the action going. We landed a few kings in the 10- to 15-pound range. The two strikes on the largest mullet were big kings that missed the stinger rig. They would be our best chance at getting on the leaderboard. We then left the drop and trolled areas that had birds working the surface. No luck, so we returned to the drop and hoped for the best before time ran out. The drop held large schools of threadfins on the surface and the recorder showed schools close to the bottom. The action was slower than the morning bite but we got a few kings to strike. When time ran out winning the tournament was out of the question but we did find a good spot to fish for fun. If the wind stays out of the east and the bait stays around, look for this area to hold good action for weeks to come.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.