I’ve been reading and hearing a wide range of catches regarding king mackerel over the past couple weeks. Some are catching them, some are not. Here is what we have been experiencing:
There are plenty of BIG Kings in the River Bed (off Sharkey’s Pier N27 03.581 W82 29.147). We have had fish exceeding 40 lbs in 32 ft of water. We had one large king completely strip 300 yards of line off a reel, leaving nothing but a bare spool.We have been trolling traditional “King” and “Alligator” spoons at 6 mph. We have NOT been using Planers. Rather, we have been using a 4-6 ounce egg sinker about 4 ft in front of the spoon on a 50 lb Fluoro leader to keep it down a bit. Think of a traditional “Fishfinder” grouper rig with a 4 ft leader and instead of a circle hook, tie on a spoon or gold bomber.
Yesterday, we also trolled with a medium diving plug in bright yellow and caught a 28″ gag grouper in this same area. There is a LOT of bait and if you can spot birds off in the distance, troll that way. All of our fish have come from trolling around the edges of the bait pods. There is also very large spanish mackerel mixed in. These are some of the biggest spanish I have seen in a while.
Went out on the gulf today to 30-50 ft. Any kind of structure showed a ton of bait schools, and more large fish returns than I have seen in a long time. Blue runners were everywhere. I tried free-lining and slow trolling them at multiple depths to no avail — likewise with grunts and tomtates. There were quite a few schools of 3-4 foot sharks around all afternoon, a few barracuda, and a school of Jack Crevalle showed up a couple of times. All-in-all the only thing I managed to land, besides bait, was one 3-1/2 ft shark, and some really scrawny Spanish. I’m not sure who was doing more window shopping today, the fish or me. There is plenty going on out there, but apparently my timing was off. Tomorrow??
Harry , Rich, Pat and myself had two trips offshore to target Amberjack and Red Grouper. We left the Venice inlet and went to several pots offshore and fished for bait fish . We caught our fill of blue runners , pin fish on one of the days and went back to the same spot and did not do as well the next trip. But that was ok because we also had jaxs, blue fish that we caught inshore . We also brought squid.
Our first day was for Amberjack and we got to the Bay Ronto and fished. Caught some small grouper and did several drifts for Amberjack. Three of us hooked up with Amberjack and got them on board but they were a little short and we let them go.Good fight!!!! Harry hooked up on a Black Tip Shark and had a 40 min fight until the shark bit through the 80lb fluro. All and all a good day. No keeper grouper.
Next time out we targeted Red Grouper and had the same type of bait. the only difference that day was that the BIG grouper were eating live grunts and live pin fish. Most of the shorts were with cut bait. I also caught a lane snapper . All of this was in 60 ft of water. Not too bad. All in all we brought back 6 keeper grouper and one lane snapper .
Went out from Stump Pass today . Found large schools of blue runners near shore. Using a bate rig we boated a dozen in 10 min. Went out to about 35 ft. and trolled slow using a king fish rig. ( double T hooks ) and a large blue runner. Boated two kings in the 15il. range in a hour.
As you can see, there were no King Fish to brag about this Wed. The water temp might be a little cool yet. Below 27 ft. it was 72, which is great but as you go deeper, it gets 71 at 30 ft. and 70 at 40 ft. and even 69 over 50 ft. No bait fish was seen at any depths. After this weekend it should get better. But I was greeted by a large pod of dolphins,which made my day…..Bob
The opening of red grouper season has been a challenge according to most accounts. Some guys are hitting it big and others are having to work really hard to get a limit.
We went yesterday and this was the first fish brought in the boat. We were fishing in 100 ft of water using ladyfish and boston mackerel from Mahi Mac’s for bait. We also caught some really nice porgys to spice up the fish dinner.
The weather will be bad until about Sunday, so get your chores done now before the seas calm down
Wondering if any of our club members are involved in kayak fishing? Just think it might be neat to go in areas where you can’t get in with your boat.
Had a decent couple of hours drowning shrimp on a ledge about 6 miles off Nokomis in 40 ft of water. Caught a bunch of nice sized Porgy, grunts, red grouper, bluefish, runners and a few other bottom dwellers.
There was an easy groundswell from the southwest, which was not an issue. Water was a little chalky and off color from the last front, so you may want to use stink baits once you can get out there again.
Had an awesome day within sight of land yesterday with Tim catching endless sheepshead , flounder and a few Mangs. Shrimp and sand fleas were the bait of choice on a 1/0 circle hook and 1/8th oz egg sinker. We were only in 27 ft of water on one of the local reefs.
Get out there because the weather will be great all week. Work the outer sand areas for the flounder and on the reefs for the sheepies.