What's hot: There are two techniques to catch the big king mackerel and bonito that are everywhere. The most popular method is to troll a lure behind the boat, either a deep-diving plug or a spoon attached to a planer. The second way is to anchor on hard bottom. Throw out live scaled sardines along with cut bait. This brings Spanish mackerel to the boat, and they bring in the kings.
Tackle tip: Instead of using a wire leader, try 60-pound fluorocarbon with a No. 1 long-shank hook. There will be breakoffs, but there will be more strikes.
What else: The trout bite is going strong. Work the grass flats in 4 and 5 foot of water. As the water starts to cool, trout will congregate. Set up a drift until you locate a couple of fish and then drop anchor. Use a popping cork with either a live shrimp or some sort of jerkbait. Of course, the small whitebait that is everywhere will work as well.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.