Spring time weather is here and so are the fish! March was a very windy month so most of the fishing we have been doing lately has been within the bay. Large bait schools are finding there way inside of Tampa Bay and along with them are the King and Spanish Mackeral. This week I came across multiple baitballs (a swirling mass of bait) that had Kings and Spanish taking to the sky! It blows my mind watching these fish launch 10-15 feet out of the air chasing baits. These fish are being caught in the deeper ship channels (40-50ft), around the bay piers and bridges, and just off of our local beaches. Live bait seems to be the ticket on the big fish, while the smaller fish can be caught in numbers using just a spoon or a trolling plug.

The water temperatures continue to hold in the low to mid 70’s, which has the Snook FIRED UP. The reason for this is due to the large amount of baitfish that have recently shown up on the flats. We have been catching huge numbers of fish in the 20-25in range with an occasional fish over 30. The large fish are generally in smaller schools of 3-5 fish and take a little bit of coaxing. A large pinfish or chunk of fresh cut bait has been doing the trick with the larger fish, while the smaller fish will eat as many whitebaits as you can throw at them. The trick with finding these fish is quite simple. LOOK FOR THE MULLET. If you come across a flat and see mullet jumping, that is probably a good place to start casting. I’ve found the best bite to be the last 3 hours of the incoming tide and the first few hours of the outgoing.

Book your trip today as these Kingfish will only be here for a few more weeks before they continue there migration and return to our waters in the fall.

Fish Species: Kingfish, Mackerel
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About The Author: Captain Bernie Vinoski

Company: First Cast Charters

Area Reporting: St Petersburg - Tampa Bay

Bio: My specialty is the pursuit of Snook inshore and King Mackerel (a/k/a “Kingfish”) just offshore. When you fish with me, I will formally introduce you to the world-famous Tarpon (the “Silver King”), Redfish, Seatrout and Black Drum. Near the bridges and just offshore, we’ll target many species of Mackerels, Snappers, Groupers and various Shark species.

(843) 812-7008
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Bernie Vinoski