Late-season cold fronts passing through the area have clouded the water, pushing the migration of kingfish to cleaner water. Traditional kingfish areas in the 50-60-foot range should hold the largest number of fish over the weekend. Places like the Whistle Buoy at the end of the ship channel and the Ten Fathom wreck should hold the largest concentration. As the water clears, the kings will start to push the bait back into the shallow water.
While trolling off Blind Pass last week looking for larger kingfish, to my surprise a king of a different species ate one of my spoons. The Silver King, more commonly known as a tarpon in this area, gave my clients quite a show. Watching the line peel off the reel at a record pace with the rod slammed down to the water gave me a vision of a smoker king on the line. But the overgrown shiner did a backflip with a No.
2 planner in tow, throwing the spoon through the air. Although this is not the traditional method for tarpon fishing, it sure is one way to get your blood pressure going.
Blackfin tuna should start showing up in 70 feet or more of water. An early start to deep water should produce. Shrimp boats cleaning their nets make a good chum line. Trolled ballyhoo or drifting live baits should produce some action. This is also a good area for some large kingfish this time of year.
_ Joe Genovese captains the Sea Cap III out of Maximo Marina. Call (813) 343-5931.