by Capt. Dave Mistretta
Kingfish: Cold weather remains a factor for our time of arrival for the kingfish this spring. Water temps will dictate the actually first large migration of these giant macks. A few reports have already trickled in, but water temps are still a bit too cold. Sixty eight to 70 degree water temps will be the start of it all. We have also been catching a few Spanish mackerel on our last few outings. This is a true sign the bigger macks are on their way, since the arrival of big Spanish mackerel normally precedes them. There has been no large numbers yet so expect a 2 week period before it really gets going. Mid march should be D day!!!!!
Bait arrival: Large threadfin herring have been seen a few miles from shore all last week. This is another sign of spring since many of our migratory fish rely on herring for a major food source during our spring months. The schools seem to be idling in towards shore from the deep at a slow pace, with nothing really bothering them, except us trying to gold hook them for bait. That will all change in a few weeks with skyrocketing kings devouring these schools with a fury. Last spring the threadfin herring held more kings than all the other types of baits that arrive in spring. It’s simply one of their favorites. A high diving pelican from 30 feet and higher is a good indicator that threadfin are below. Since these herring are larger (about 6 inches), the seabirds must dive on them from higher altitudes in order to catch.
Bottom fishing: Lots of action in the shallower depths of forty feet. We release 30 plus giant gag groupers while trying to catch other species for dinner. Key West grunts are pretty much our main stay at this time. It takes a lot of them to make dinner, but we have been more than happy to fillet them. Their mild white meat is quite tasty when fried. Another recipe we have been using has been ceviche. This is a different way to prepare seafood, since you never really cook the fish. Marinating fillets in lime juice is the key ingredient. This is truly a delicious treat that you must try sometime.
Amberjack as usual, will be available on the full day offshore trips. BIG BRAWNY AND GOOD TO EAT!
SO… GET READY SPRINGTIME……… HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!