Sunday, June 24, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Despite partial season closure, plenty of grouper still can be found

A partial closure of the grouper season in the gulf started Wednesday. This closure is for all shallow-water grouper in depths greater than 120 feet, but plenty of tasty grouper can be caught and kept inside 120 feet. Due to a change in migration patterns, the amount of red grouper inside 90 feet is slim. Look at hard bottom areas in 90- to 120-foot depths to find plenty of grouper. ''Bait stack'' fishing is fine, but if you are able to find a hard roll-off in these areas, get ready for a great bite. Amberjack fishing is fantastic on the wrecks and springs in 150 to 200 feet. Many anglers prefer live-bait fishing for them, but vertical jig fishing is hard to beat because these fish are sensitive to temperature and change their depth as the day progresses. These jigs are meant to start at the bottom and be worked to the surface, so no matter where the fish are holding, the jig should run right through the school. The hogfish bite is still strong in 30 to 60 feet. Concentrate on rock piles and smaller ledges. Live shrimp and small crabs are hard to beat. Anchor a bit off the structure during the afternoon.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.

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