What's hot: The opening of gag grouper season has led to great catches in close and out far. Inside Tampa Bay, trolling heavy jigs with plastic bodies produced keeper-sized gags. For larger vessels, numerous catches were easy to come by along with mahi-mahi and a few kingfish.
Techniques: Inside the bay, trolling plugs using a planer or deep diving plugs along the shipping channel works well. Live pinfish dropped down on inshore reefs and rock piles inside the Sunshine Skyway bridge produced small red grouper and a few keeper-sized gags. Further offshore, frozen squid or sardines dropped to the bottom over wrecks, reefs and ledges produced larger gag grouper than inshore fishing.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center at (727) 518-7637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.