Jacob Grant, left, and his dad Perkins Grant of South Carolina show off a kingfish they reeled in while trolling recently off John’s Pass.
What a great week for fishing in west central Florida. Things are really starting to come alive out on the water now, and a week with no cold front is to thank for hot fishing. Kingfish, redfish, Spanish mackerel, trout and snook are all available right now given the right tide and the right bait.
Inshore, high tide has been the right time to target oyster bars for reds and snook. Live chumming with pilchards has been lights out on the end of the incoming and the start of the outgoing tide. Look for those oyster mounds that are in close proximity to a creek mouth to be the best.
Trout fishing has been really good all week. Water temperatures are right for their spring spawn. Deep grass areas just inside the passes as well as spoil island drop-offs are places to target. Glass minnow pods are showing up over grass patches right now and it’s just the thing we needed to get the trout to move back in. Look for the dipping terns to give away the presence of the glass minnows.
King fishing has been excellent in the 30- to 40-foot range. Medium sized kingfish are abundant in these depths. Target artificial structures as well as hard bottom and ledges. Troll either spoons on a number 2 or 3 planer or live blue runners and or threadfin herring on a stinger rig.
Spanish mackerel have been slow to arrive this spring, but have now begun to really make their presence felt especially in the southern part of our county. The skyway fishing piers are a great option right now if targeting Spanish mackerel. Casting gotcha plugs or small spoons behind a 3 to 4 ounce-trolling sinker are pier-fishing staples. Other options would include live threadfins fished either free-lined or suspended a few feet underneath a float.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.