For those of you who love the spring kingfish run, it is in full swing just in time for the King of the Beach tourney. Billy and I made our way offshore twice this week in hopes of finding some steady kingfish action. We loaded up with a live well full of sardines, and we didn't have to venture very far out to find a steady bite.
We started about 3 miles out on a bait ball that we spotted where you could actually see the kings rocketing out of the water to devour the baits. Every bait that hit the water was instantly crushed by a schoolie-sized king. Most of the fish we caught were in the 8- to 15-pound range. We fished all the way out to 12 miles, with very steady results.
On the inshore scene, redfish remain a steady target, as several schools have shown up down around Joe's Island and Bishop Harbor. Live greenbacks free-lined seem to work best, with the more stubborn fish taking a live pinfish under a cork. There are schools of both keeper-sized and oversized fish available.
The trout bite has also been good, with several big fish being caught this week in the shallows first thing in the morning. I received reports of two trout more than 30 inches long being caught this week along the outside bar of Cockroach Bay.
Whether it's inshore or offshore, the spring bite is good with kingfish, redfish, trout and tarpon all available on Tampa Bay waters.