Spring King of the Beach is rapidly approaching as the end of April draws near. The fishing off of the beach has continued to heat up as these temps remain more and more steady though a stray cold front still blows through, stirring up the water and pushing the bait and fish offshore. The first two weeks of April produced a ton of Kingfish for everyone preparing for the tournament and running charters. The Spanish Mackerel are rampant in the shipping channel as well as inside the bay with an abundance of drag peeling bonito and the always-lurking sharks.
On my recent charters, we have had some fun catches, including a massive barracuda and multiple Spinner, Sandbar, and even Hammerhead sharks, one being more than 6ft long.That shark made for an exhilarating fight and even more exciting reveal. We caught the barracuda on a flat-lined, 12-inch, stinger-rigged mullet near Egmont Key, and it took off like a missile before being able to wear it out and subsequently land it only a few minutes later.Then on the very next trip, we hooked the big Hammerhead on a piece of cut mackerel lying on the bottom. My clients battled the shark for a solid 15 minutes and once they finally got the big shark pulled up next to the 22ft Pathfinder boat, man it sure humbles you quick giving perspective as to what truly lurks beneath.
Big schooling Jack Crevalle in massive numbers have been mixed into the mackerel and bonito frenzy in the shipping channel and near Blind’s Pass, where you can never find a shortage of boats in search of a close Kingfish. These speciesthis time of year always provide a great workout and endless tiring battles. The recent reports I come across have all had great success hooking big threads, greenbacks, blue runners, and mackerel on flat-lines or bump trolling near wrecks, reefs, and hard bottom both close to the beach and out to about 15 miles offshore.
I’m very excited for this season’s KOB and I’m always curious as to what that lucky winning number is going to be. Typically, that depends on the weather leading up to the big day but usually, historically speaking, King fishing always somehow equates to windy conditions making some captains shift their plans and keep closer to the beach and bay while others choose to battle the conditions and trek as far as possible offshore in search of the winning bite.
Good luck to all who participate,