Early migrations: As far as the fish are concerned, they think it's summer. Various species are on the move now, weeks earlier than their normal spring migrations. Already, tarpon fishing has been steady, with numerous schools idling down the beaches. This has been going on for weeks now. The abnormally warm water temperatures from April might have kick-started many of these fish. Amberjack have also started to move farther offshore. This normally takes place in mid to late June.
Where are the kingfish? Kingfish season has been lackluster. A few reasons have been discussed between seasoned captains:
• Water temperatures rising so quickly could have made the kings swim past us quickly, or stay farther offshore.
• The oil spill from last summer might be having more effect on the migrations and spawn of gulf kingfish, since they were settled in the northern gulf when the disaster happened.
• We will get a late-season push from these big mackerel during the next few weeks.
Something is definitely not right with this season's kingfish migration. Red Tide can cause the same type of effects, but an algae bloom has not been detected anywhere. Hopefully in a few weeks we will be able to pinpoint the reason.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or see www.jawstoo.com.