What's nearly hot: Springlike conditions have drawn schools of mackerel and bluefish to several of our fishing piers, including the gulf pier at Fort De Soto and Sunshine Skyway piers. Those schools always precede better fishing. Soon bait will gather at their familiar haunts, and it won't take the macks and kingfish long to find them.
Inshore activity: The sheepshead keeper-to-throwback ratio has greatly improved. Now is when the mature females make their move. They often travel in large packs and feed aggressively as they stage in preparation for their spawn. Schools of plus-sized black drum have been easy to spot roaming the clam bar and Pinellas Point flats.
Offshore scene: A variety of snapper, catch-and-release grouper and amberjack can be found on wrecks and reefs, with much of the action in depths of more than 100 feet.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142.