The near shore action is going very well right now and it’s killing me not to be sending out trips to capitalize on this awesome bite we are seeing.
The big news near shore right now are all the kingfish and mackerel that are being caught from along the beaches out to the deeper near shore waters. If I was to go out after them, I would start around 30-40ft and work up to around 90ft or so looking for birds which means bait is below. The Egmont key shipping channel or ship anchorage just to the north side of the channels end are great areas to start looking. Also, our near shore artificial reefs and big ledges are all holding bait which is in turn holding kingfish and mackerel. You can even catch them while bottom fishing if you got your flat lines out and pitch rods ready. However, most people will go out to target them specifically by either trolling or finding the fish and anchoring up and chumming them up to the boat. This past week one lucky angler named Kevin Carlan caught a 66lb kingfish around the Egmont key channel trolling with family on board! What a monster fish for sure especially for Father and his two happy young anglers that caught him trolling in only around 40ft of water.
Besides the kingfish and mackerel, we are still seeing a nice push of hogfish near shore in around 30-80ft of water. They are not biting quite as well as they were early march but still seeing some caught in this range on the live shrimp. Plus, the lane snapper and mangrove snapper action has been picking up around 70-1o0ft of water on the live shrimp or threadfin plugs. Red grouper fishing seems to be improving a bit as well. Many of our captains and crew are out fishing on private boats during this closure doing well on the red grouper about that same depth as the snapper.