The water has cooled down with the recent front. Bait has been plentiful, but on the small side with scaled sardines, threadfin, shad, ladyfish in abundance. With the cooler water, the nearshore has exploded with Spanish Mackerel, and we are seeing the start of their big brother, the King Mackerel make an appearance. This week’s fishing report comes just in time to maximize your catch in the event you plan to take the boat out this weekend.

Hooking the King

With these speedsters, you’ll want to use a longshank aberdine style of hook, from a #1 to a #2 o/t with a 30 or 40 florocarbon. This is ideal for Clearwater, to increase your strikes. If you’re getting bit off, use a 29 lb. 6″ piece of wire, for these toothy fish. For the King Mackerel, use a 12″ to 24″ main wire with a 2-3 o/t front hook, then a treble hook as a stinger rig. You should use a rig with a 40 lb. trace wire to match the size of the bait. The stinger hook should be a #6 to #4. This is the rig that Kingfish pro’s have used for years.

Best bait for King Fish

There is no mackerel, lady fish, or mullet too big to catch that big smoker King.

Where to hook King Mackerel

From the backwaters of Indian Rocks Beach (north-end) to Dunedin the King Mackerel bite has been great.

Hooking Red Fish & Speckled Trout

Redfish are getting to be in good numbers with the cooler water. For the artificial enthusiast, topwater bite will help you locate these bruisers, as well as Speckled Trout. These fish will often be together with the mullet schools. With the extreme low tides, you can find the Reds tailing on scattered turtle grass or around pot holes. For these conditions, live shrimp, cutbait and soft plastics will be your ideal baits.


Finding Speckled Trout and Reds

With higher tides, concentrate on points, oyster bars and spoil islands. Make sure there are mullet in these areas because the Redfish and Speckled Trout will be there. The best bait to use now is whitebait, silver dollar size pinfish and cutbait. Your leader should be 2-3 ft. of 20 to 30lb florocarbon, with a 3-4 o/t light style circle hook. As for the fly enthusiast, all species can be caught.

Skip the line, the headaches and empty lines and book with Skinny Water Charters today for the fishing experience of a lifetime. We’ll put you on the King Mackerel, Redfish AND Trout and you won’t even have to line a reel.


Local Music Tip

This weekend you can take advantage of a music festival happening at the Vinoy park in downtown St. Petersburg. With the sound system from the event blasting out into Tampa Bay, pull your boat up along the seawall and enjoy the vibes. Tickets cost hundreds of dollars however there are no restrictions on pulling up nearby. However, don’t try to jump onto the land. Big fines for those caught.

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