The time I spent on the water this week confirms that spring is all around us.
Spring fishing signs include lots of bait showing up all over Tampa Bay. I saw glass minnows, threadfins and scaled sardines around bridges, flats and markers.
When bait shows up in good numbers that means bonitos, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalles and a few kingfish are here.
The Skyway fishing piers send word that lots of Spanish mackerel were caught by anglers using cut greenbacks under a cork, silver spoons and Gotcha plugs. A few 10-15 pound kingfish were also caught free lining blue runners.
A 31 pound kingfish was caught off the Redington Pier using the zip line technique and a live butterfish for bait. A few others were seen and hooked reports Capt. Eddie Herrington.
Big schools of black drum showed up this week around the Clam Bar and Tierra Verde. These big monsters, weighing up to 50 pounds, will hit dark color jigs bounced slowly along the bottom.
Cobia are starting to show up around the buoys in Tampa Bay and on the hard bottom areas along the gulf beaches. They will usually be hungry from their migration and eat readily. A live pinfish, big white bait or a 10 inch soft plastic eel on a ½ ounce jig head will get some action.
Capt. Billy Miller says pompano are still biting well and the snook fishing has taken off. Miller and his parties had big number catches with some of the snook pushing 40 inches.