The Gulf has cleared up, the water is at about 73 degrees, and the kingfish blitz is on.
All of my clients this week enjoyed some good kingfish action within yards of the beaches of Anna Maria and Longboat Key.
Most of the big macks ran up to around 36 inches but one topped the scales at 30 pounds. Numerous jumbo Spanish mackerel and juvenile kings were mixed in with a few bonito. Anglers need to pay attention to the differences between Spanish mackerel and kingfish because it is very possible to get nailed for undersized and over the bag limit kingfish due to the similarity of the two species.
On Friday, a half-day trip with the Armitage family produced a number of kings and a slew of huge Spanish macks on the beach in the morning, and they proceeded to slay a bunch of fat spotted sea trout in North Sarasota Bay in the early afternoon.
Earlier in the week, Matt Fuchs of Cincinnati nailed a 30 pound and a 15 pound king off Longboat Key, and caught several snook later in the day, topped by a dandy 30-inch keeper.
My son, Capt. Josh Zacharias, and his bride Kaimi from Eastham, Mass., enjoyed a day that included kings, bonito, mackerel, grouper, trout, and redfish up to 25 inches in the middle of the week.
Snook season is over for the summer and the snook fishing in my immediate area was disappointing this spring. Areas to the north and east of Cortez, like Terra Ceia, Miguel Bay, Joe Bay and the Manatee River were hotter than a firecracker, based on reports that I've heard for the past two months. Redfish were a tough ticket for me for several weeks as well, but a number of nice slot-sized reds have come aboard in the past week.
Tarpon have arrived on the scene and should be in full swing within a couple of weeks. Cobia have been scarce both inshore and offshore, but that could change any day based on reports of hot cobia action off Charlotte County.
Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there!
Capt. "Zach" Zacharias
Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th Street West and 36th Avenue, Cortez, FL 34215