Every morning this week, as my charters would board the Jaws Too, I would boast about all the giant kings that would be landed throughout the fishing day. I had every right to boast big smokers and multiple hookups are a common sight during this phenomenal kingfish season. Monster schools of kingfish have invaded our local waters and are ready to eat.
My day would start by bagging a live-well full of frisky baitfish (horse minnows, threadfins, cigar minnows and shad). A few throws from the cast net under diving pelicans is all it took to fill the wells. Next, we would throttle up until we hit the 30-foot mark (about 5 miles). Large areas of hard bottom (coral and rock) run up and down our coastline at this depth. Slow trolling live baits over this structure ensured us of a massive bite throughout the week. One rod after another would double over until our limit was met.
To enhance the bite, crunch up a few minnows in your hand on occasion and toss them behind the boat (this is called the wounded minnow effect). It drives kingfish into a feeding frenzy. This also will give you time to get the camera out for a few fantastic photos of skyrocketing kingfish lunging at the wounded baitfish.
We still have at least four more weeks of action before the migration moves north toward the Panhandle. My advice is take advantage of the perfect weather and great fishing by getting out while the action is hot.
_ Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (813) 595-3276.