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Captain's orner

What's hot: Though our major run of spring kingfishing may be winding down, many will linger due to the abundance of baitfish. From Egmont Key to the Skyway and well inside the bay, schools of glass minnows, fry baits, and juvenile mackerel can be seen in the ship channel.

We've caught kings in the 30-pound class on recent trips while slow-trolling the perimeter of the massive bait schools. Diving birds and schools of bonito and mackerel crashing the surface will direct you to the bait pods. Schoolie-size kings may still be caught around the outer markers of the Egmont ship channel. Markers 1 and 2, the first set in from the Whistler, have consistently held schools of Spanish sardines and cigar minnow and the kings have been hanging around.

What's coming up: Tarpon have begun to pick up the slack, and Monday's full moon will likely bring out the best. They will gang up at the Skyway and the passes on either side of Egmont Key to ambush the crabs being swept out of the bay on the stronger-than-normal outgoing tides. Whether flylining greenbacks or drifting crabs through the passes, downsizing tackle will produce more bites. The smaller diameter braided lines and 80-pound fluorocarbon leader will allow your offerings to swim freely.

The widely held theory that tarpon fishing peaks three days before and three days after a full moon suggests this week could be a best bet.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

Captain's orner 05/14/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:41pm]

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