Daily fishing report – Our fall kingfish run began by flat-lining stinger rigs with frozen sardines while bottom fishing for grouper. We used the sardines because of the difficulty of keeping live bait fresh during Red Tide. The fish were small, 8 to 10 pounds, and not abundant, but they were king mackerels.
Spanish mackerel also have started to appear over hard bottom areas 3 to 5 miles offshore the gulf passes. There is a noticeable lack of larger baits and both the mackerel and ladyfish can be found under flocks of birds feeding on glass minnows and juvenile white baits. Zero and 00 spoons trolled 30 feet behind a No. 1 planer will produce plenty of fish.
By switching to 10- to 12-pound spinning tackle and trolling the same size spoons 12 to 15 feet behind a small trolling lead, large mackerel will produce drag pulling action and ladyfish will put on acrobatic aerial displays.
Mangrove and yellowtail snapper and triggerfish are still very active on the larger ledges and rock piles in the 90-foot depths. The best news is that the gag grouper action is good in the 70- to 80-foot depths, 17 to 20 miles offshore. Not having to run the additional 10 to 15 miles offshore results in less fuel consumption, which is becoming a concern for everyone. Soon the fish will be in the 60-foot depths and shallower and we will be making our first stops there to see if the fish have moved in.
–Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at 727 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2@aol.com
By DAVE ZALEWSKI, Times Correspondent