What's hot: With Gulf temperatures cooling, coastal fish are starting to transition into fall patterns. Schools of migrating baitfish are arriving from the north and behind them will be kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. Lower in the water column, gag grouper will move into very shallow water to feed in the season's moderate temperatures. Many gags have been in less than 50 feet all summer, which is unusual. This should mean that the fall inshore grouper bite should be outstanding.
Tips: From Tarpon Springs to Homosassa hundreds of rock outcroppings hold grouper in less than 20 feet. Some patches are as big as a football field while others are isolated boulders the size of a car. On a clear day you can see the rocks from the surface. Take advantage of great visibility when you get it. There is almost always a sweet spot on a given patch or ledge where all the fish are concentrated. Diving helps pinpoint it. Chumming will draw fish toward your boat if you miss the sweet spot when anchoring.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (727) 944-3474.