Capt. Rich Knox reports good action on all the inshore species. Snook, redfish, and gator trout are all taking live scaled sardines (pilchards) on most spoil islands, oyster bars and rock piles for those that have a live well full of this bait.
Some cobia have also shown up on the flats and certain lime stone bottom channels and channel markers. They are also on some of the nearshore artificial reefs and rockpiles. Chumming with a combination of a good Pogy or chum block and live sardines has accounted for most catches. On the flats they ride the backs of big stingrays, waiting for the flapping of the wings to flush food, baitfish, small crabs or shrimp. In our custom tower boat we just cruise certain areas where they are known to be and when you see the big dark torpedo riding the stingray, just cast your bait up in front of the path of the stingray and hold on. Fish to 50 lbs are not uncommon in early spring.
Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are off the beaches in good numbers. They seem to be shy of wire rigs so we are using heavy florocarbon and long shank hooks - 80 to 100 lb for the Kings and 40 lb for the Spanish Mackerel.
We are now booking the Giant Tarpon run in World Famous Boca Grande. Check out our web site at http://www.captrichknox.com or call toll free for more information at 1-800-890-9373.
Clearwater/Tampa/Tarpon Springs 3/18/2007