The past two weeks, anglers have been able to enjoy some great fishing. The second half of December was mild, allowing water temperatures to creep up to the mid to upper 60s. That allowed many fish to reappear. Visibility was clear enough for anglers to capitalize on decent gag grouper trolling. Giant plugs are preferred. They are designed with oversized lips to travel as deep as possible. The large-lipped plugs, often called 25+ or 30+, are the most effective. The shiny chrome and gold colors always have been my favorite. Braided line cuts through water better than monofilament, allowing the lure to get closer to the bottom. Simply lower it until it bumps the bottom, then take two or three cranks on the reel and youíre trolling for grouper. Adjust your speed from 3-6 mph to entice the fish to bite. These lures work best in 20-40 feet of water. Kingfish reappeared recently as well. Captains were catching them off Egmont, Johnís Pass and Clearwater. The fish were scattered, but once located they were eager to take about any bait presented. With the new year, low temperatures are predicted. Expect everything to be a mess for a bit.
Dave Mistretta captains Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.