What's hot: Though Thanksgiving is often regarded as the end of the fall fishing season in north Pinellas, migratory game fish and forage species show no sign of leaving. Kingfish, cobia and Spanish mackerel have been abundant from deep offshore waters to the shallow grass flats of Tarpon Springs.
Techniques: Cast small jigs or shiny spoons over the flats. The really big mackerel often bite through the typical 25- or 30-pound test leader. If you are catching small- to medium-sized mackerel but getting "chewed off," there's a good chance you are missing the really big mackerel. Try using extra-heavy monofilament leader. By adding a short section of 60- or 80-pound test mono for a leader, the fish will still strike but be far less likely to bite through. Wire leader can be used but will reduce bites.
Tackle: When targeting toothy species such as mackerel, swivels often cause cutoffs. But tying 80-pound test leader directly to a 25-pounder can be tricky. We have two options for leader connections. The Albright Special joins lines of unequal size. Or tie a Bimini Twist in the mainline and connect that to the heavier leader with a "No Name Knot."
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and (727) 944-3474.