Captain’s Corner: Cooling for kings

King facts: Water temps determine the initial migration of kings in fall. Though we catch a few throughout summer, the main push is not here then. They can be found deep in the gulf and in the Panhandle.

Recent action: August and part of September occasionally present some rogue large female kings. Most venture from the deep gulf. They were large females with a developed roe. Watching what you find while filleting fish can help determine key clues for future reference.

Factors: This month the fish start moving around a bit as the water cools. Ideal water temps are in the 70s so we still have time closer to shore. Many anglers will target kings far out into the gulf on springs, wrecks and large ledges in 100-plus feet of water. Monitoring the temps in deeper gulf waters is crucial for finding fish. Many websites provide updated data of water temps for the entire southeast.

Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit

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