Hectic holiday: Boat traffic is unbearable to many game fish close to shore. And swimming near a school of tarpon is not advised as these fish are a favorite food of hammerhead sharks. Try fishing at first light to avoid boat traffic.
Offshore: Divers and anglers will be anchored on most of the known wrecks as well. There is red grouper action away from the crowds in 90 feet of water, where our many miles of limestone bottom can produce good action. Drift slowly to cover areas along the bottom while searching for red grouper. Once a keeper-sized fish is hooked, hit the save button on the GPS and go back to it on the next drift. Chances are there is a crack or hole in the bottom that is holding more than that one keeper. Two red grouper per person per day is the regulation bag limit.
More options: Bait stacks can be found on many locations while drifting. A quick Sabiki (gold hook) rig session will produce fresh Spanish sardines or cigar minnows to be thrown out as bait. This opens the door for kingfish action. There happens to be more around in 80 to 90 feet than in the spring.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, jawstoo.com or (727) 439-2628.