What's hot: Bottom fishing for grouper, mangrove snapper and grunts continues to be good. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are still being caught in 50 feet and deeper. Amberjack fishing is good over most of the offshore shipwrecks and springs.
Strategy: A good depth to start fishing for gag grouper is 55 to 60 feet. Use 50-pound test tackle. Ledges and cheese rock bottoms are holding good numbers of fish. Frozen sardines and squid will get the bottom fishing bite going. Use just enough weight to get the baits to the bottom. When you get a strong bite, reel as fast as you can; this technique sets the hook, takes any slack out of the line and produces more hookups.
Tips: Downsize tackle to 30-pound test for mangrove snapper. Place a green glow bead in front of the hook. Because kingfish are still in the area, it is a good idea to deploy flat lines off the transom of the boat. Use live Spanish mackerel and cigar minnows hooked through the nose. Make your major moves during slack tide.
Larry "Huffy'' Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396 or e-mail him at [email protected]