Getting ready: Low pressure and cold fronts have made getting offshore quite difficult for the past month. But March and the spring season are getting near. Spring is the favorite time for many bay area anglers, and this is a great time to get kingfish gear in order. Checking drags, line condition and making stinger rigs have been the main order of business while we are stuck at the dock.
What to target: Because grouper season is closed and kingfish are still in the Keys, the list of species to target is short.
Amberjack are a favorite. Their size and strength make them a blast to catch especially on lighter tackle and jigs or other unnatural lures. Look for them on the many wrecks and springs offshore in 120 feet or deeper.
Snapper: Mangrove snapper in this area are another great fish to target because they can be caught as far offshore as 200 feet and as close as Tampa Bay. The Skyway is a favorite spot for many anglers and a great way to fish if the weather will not let you get offshore. Fishing the shoulders of the shipping channel or other structures around the bridge itself should reward anglers. A little chum will assist in getting the bite going.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 or www.fintasticinc.com.