What's hot: Catching gag grouper this time of year can be difficult. These fish are very sensitive to water temperatures, and when the waters get warm, they head out to find cooler temperatures. Target gags in depths of 90 feet or more.
Other targets: Deep-water fishing comes with what I call "surprise fish." These fish are any you would not normally find in the shallower waters off the coast. Always be prepared for them with a few other rods, rigged and ready. Midsize spinning outfits are great choices, one rigged with mono connected to a 6/0 circle hook, another with a small length of wire to the same size hook, and possibly one rigged with a midsize bucktail jig, such as a Spro or a Bomber.
Wreck fishing: Just about every high-relief wreck in depths of 70 feet or more is holding amberjack. But the wrecks also have so many smaller, more aggressive fish that you will have a hard time getting your baits to the larger fish below. One trick is to use monster baits, 8 to 10 inches or larger. A small fish won't eat a bait it can't fit into its mouth. Larger baits will sit in the middle of the school until larger fish get them.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at fintasticinc.com or (727) 642-3411.