What's hot: Until the wind started blowing, canceling offshore trips, we were starting every day targeting Spanish mackerel on our way offshore as soon as we had to reduce speed because of the no-wake zone out of John's Pass. The speed's ideal for trolling and deploying No. 1 planers and small spoons. In addition to mackerel, we caught ladyfish, bluefish, speckled trout, jack crevalle, blue runners and small gag grouper. On several days, the mackerel action was such that it paid to stay within 100 yards on either side of the bridge. We've come across schools of ravenous bull redfish in the 15-30 pound class running offshore and now keep at least two rods rigged and ready for them.
Tip: A gathering of frigate birds (four or more), within 100 yards of shore out to the artificial reefs, is worth investigating. There's no mistaking a school of these fish feeding on the surface by the commotion they make and their color when the sun reflects off them.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.