Thursday, April 19, 2018
Outdoors

Captains corner: Drifting produces good red grouper catches

Red grouper: Minimal wind all week allowed us to stop the boat up current of an area and deploy all six lines. We caught our limit of four in three long drifts, not once dropping anchor. This method of grouper fishing can be quite productive during calm sea conditions. We also have been limiting out on kingfish while we drift.

Tackle and locations: Use larger-than-normal sinkers when drift fishing so each baited hook stays in position. Different-sized leads lead to tangled lines and frustrated anglers. A 6- to 8-ounce sinker is ideal. Recently we traveled to about 90 feet of water looking for hard bottom on the bottom machine. We drifted across large areas of hard bottom, often referred to by anglers as "Swiss cheese bottom." These are large areas of flat bottom with sheets of limestone rock. Many of these rocks crack over the years and produce openings ideal for grouper to congregate.

Tips: Most of the time if one big grouper is found on a drift, another drift over that same area will produce more. The productive spot should be marked with a push of a button on the bottom machine.

Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.

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