Rapidly falling water temperatures are starting to impact coastal migratory fish species. The nearshore waters off Tarpon Springs dropped to 63 degrees this week. That's getting close to the lower end of where cobia and kingfish will continue to hang around, so if you want a big king for the smoker, it might be getting close to your last chance. The chilly area closest to the beach has gone very quiet, with little bait or bird activity lately. Further offshore conditions are still a bit warmer, so deeper is likely better for the time being. We caught kings up to 38 pounds in 70 feet west of Dunedin last weekend. Most of the time we could see them move into the chum line behind the boat before they took a bait. As is usually the case, live blue runners are one of the best baits both for their appeal to the fish and their heartiness in the livewell and on the hook. We also encountered kings in 160 feet off St. Petersburg during a fisheries research trip.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .