Because of the heat many boats are opting for an early leave and not staying out for a full day. Because of time constraints that limit how far we can run offshore, most of our half-day trips are spent trolling for Spanish mackerel, bonita, kingfish and barracuda. Trolling at between 51/2 and 6 knots keeps the air flowing and provides for a comfortable time on the water. All the nearshore artificial reefs such as Madeira Beach and Treasure Island, along with the mid water reefs such as South County and Indian Shores provide an opportunity for nonstop action. Terminal tackle selection should consist of No. 1 and 2 planers with a ball bearing snap swivel attached to at least 30 feet of 40- or 50-pound monofilament leader with a spoon that matches the size of the baitfish in the area. If baitfish are not visible, start with a 00 spoon on the No. 1 planer and a 0 or No. 1 spoon on the No. 2 planer. It's a common mistake to go to the published GPS coordinates of an artificial reef and stay close to them. All the reefs have material scattered all over the permitted areas.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.