The Spring King of the Beach produced an incredible turnout and the winning Kingfish was well suitedfor the title coming in at 54 lbs. There were a handful of 40’s that the scales followed by a slew of 30’s as the weather this year certainly allowed for a lot of fish to be weighed. The day started a bit rougher than forecasted making the early trek for tournament goers testy, but as the day wore on the weather laid down and made for some good fishing opportunities. My team and I chose to run about 25 miles southwest and as we pulled up to our area at first light it quickly became apparent many other boats had the same idea.
There were a handful of early bites around us as we all trolled around each other hoping to hear that drag tear. We were met with a big bite not too long into the morning hours as a king went airborne on our blue runner. After a hefty battle we were broken off by what we think was an unfortunate tail slap as the fish swiftly changed direction. We made a few runs looking for the big bite, but for us this just wasn’t the year. King of the Beach is one of the most electrifying tournaments to be a part of and Old Salt does not disappoint. There were tons of booths, massive raffles, giveaways, and tons of food and drinks, keeping everyone in great spirits all weekend long.
Tarpon are here and they are beginning to get thick in the bay. Boats are beginning to line up at the usual main stays as these big schools roll in. Pick your favorite shadow line between the concrete pillars of the skyway and drift baits through them with the tide and wait for the thump. If fishing around the bridges isn’t your forte, you can always run the beaches looking for schools, post up on sand bars on the outskirts of the passes, or check deep holes around Egmont for your shot at a silver king. Pass crabs are beginning to flush out on these big summer moon-outgoing tides. May has a New Moon beginning on May 11 that will cause big swinging tides and move the baits these fish are searching for. Big threadfins are always a good option during this time and they are plentiful around structure. Both cut and live threads will work well once you establish a good drift. Don’t sleep on the breeder snook opportunities this early summer weather offers as these big females come out of hiding ready to gorge both pre and post spawn around these big moon phases.
Continue to voice your opinion as we await the verdict on Redfish, Snook, and Trout in our area. The FWC is closing in on their course of action in response to the current executive order that was set to be lifted on June 1, 2021.