GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mel Berman.
There's good news for your fishing weekend. That unseasonable blast of Arctic air that struck the Suncoast should start dissipating this weekend. With normal conditions and surface temperatures in the mid- to low-70s, virtually every species in every venue should be biting with enthusiasm.
Many will target the great schools of kings off our coast. They will depart as the water temperatures continue to drop, so get them while you can.
Mixed with these toothy eating machines are the king mackerel's smaller cousin, the Spanish mackerel. These fish are abundant and good-sized fish that can certainly pick up the slack when the kings take a break.
Before kingfishing, captain Dave Rieumont starts early, looking for bait at docks with lights or around local bridges. Rieumont then tosses his net to collect ladyfish, mullet and pinfish. Afterward, he heads for local reefs and trolls with a spread of five lines - two on a downrigger, two flat lines and one in the prop wash. It doesn't take long before the action begins.
Spanish mackerel are also percolating around both Skyway fishing piers. Most are being caught using Clark spoons, Gotcha jigs or by floating live shrimp under a cork. Trout action has been excellent with this week's cool-down. Many using jigs, or an artificial shrimp or jig rigged under a popping cork, have landed good numbers of larger breeder trout working grass flats and spoil islands.
As for the recent brisk redfish bite, the colder temperatures have apparently put a damper on that. However, as the weekend warms, we expect to see the reds pick up right where they left off.
Hear "The Captain Mel Show" Saturdays from 6-9 a.m. on WFLA, 970 AM. Also, visit "Fishing Florida