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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

The big "Mac Attack" is in full swing. Spanish mackerel in the 3- to 7-pound range are nailing spoons and live bait around the artificial reefs that dot the Pinellas County coast.

We headed to the reefs Wednesday to troll for small mackerel to use as kingfish bait. There was one small problem. We couldn't find any mackerel under 3 pounds. So we decided to fish for mackerel.

Rigging light tackle (12-pound test) with a No.

1 planer and 30 feet of 50-pound test mono tied directly to a No.

2 spoon produced endless strikes from sunup until 11 a.m. Not using wire will increase your hit ratio, but you might want to bring along some extra spoons for that occasional cut-off.

Using a No.

2 spoon or larger will give you a shot at the kings that might be in the area. Stay with the birds that are working the surface, even if they aren't over the reef.

If you're lucky enough to catch a mackerel under 2 pounds, quickly hook it to a stinger rig and slow troll. You might just get that smoker king.

_ Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (813) 347-1389.

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