Kingfish, kingfish and more kingfish! The spring kingfish run is here and it is two to three weeks early, based on history. The catches have been phenomenal up and down the west coast.
Capt. Phil Woods in Boca Grande has reported good kingfish catches for two to three weeks. Reports out of Sarasota indicate the kingfish action has been hot over reefs, wrecks and hard bottom in 30- to 50-feet of water. Jim Turner of St. Petersburg, fishing last week south of the Egmont ship channel, limited out and released over 60 kingfish using live bait. West of St. Petersburg, the shipwreck Betty Rose and surrounding hard bottom have been producing great catches of kingfish for boats trolling with No. 3 planers and big spoons or plugs, in addition to live bait. The Clearwater wreck and hard-bottom area, 7-8 miles west of Clearwater, has been producing bag-limit catches. Off Anclote Key, charter-boat and recreational anglers have been limiting at Pasco reefs No. 1 and No. 2. Slow-trolling big live baits in the crab-trap lines a mile or two off Anclote also has produced smoker kings. Capt. Everett Antram, fishing off Hudson, and Capt. Jim Bradley, fishing off Bayport, also are reporting heavy concentrations of kingfish on spoons, live bait and light-tackle jigs.
Recent cold fronts may slow kingfish migration and keep them around our area for the next three to four weeks, but there is no guarantee.
_ Bill Miller guides out of Tampa and Boca Grande. Call (813) 935-3141.
The kingfish map on Friday's Outdoors page listed an incorrect Loran number for the Tarpon Springs Hard Bottom. The correct number is 28.08.25', 82.55.85'. Another productive number in the same area is 28.07.95', 83.02.91'.