Water temperature: It's November and the offshore waters still feel like they did a month ago. Definitely a different start from the past two fall seasons. Normally by now, the kingfish overwhelm us in many areas. So far, sporadic reports are coming in. We need another decent cold front to push down in order for the bigger numbers to arrive. A front is anticipated for this weekend.
Last week: We noticed a severe water temperature break line at about the 10-mile mark. The temps dipped into the 70s close to shore. As soon as we traveled west about 10 miles, the temperatures rose rapidly to the 80-degree mark and higher. This temp reading was what we were reporting for the past month. This is my reasoning for saying one more cool front will get the migrations of many fall fish going. Certain species have started their migration: some kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia, big redfish and sharks have shown up near shore, but the gag grouper bite has been lackluster. By next week, the gag grouper should start settling on many of the rocks and ledges in water depths of 40 feet and shallower. Our catches recently have consisted of a dozen keeper-sized red grouper with a few gags mixed in. We need one more front to get things right. By the middle of next week, we should have large populations of big gag grouper.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.