We can feel the more comfortable temperatures during the early parts of the day, but it's still warm out. Fish don't use a calendar to migrate; they simply have an internal clock dictated by water temperature. Until we feel a significant drop, things should stay about the same. Gag grouper have started to show on a few rocks. They're about a month late on their migration. For a month they've been concentrated in our northern counties, but many spots locally were void. Shallower spots in 20 feet of water seem to have had the most fish. The next substantial cold front should push decent concentrations onto many areas locally. Divers have started to witness activity. Anglers, however, have been struggling. This seems to be the case annually. The gags need to settle in for a few days before feeding heavier, but they obviously can't avoid a sharp spear. Things look promising for the final month of open season on these tasty grouper fillets. Large red grouper seem to take over many spots, and the action is endless. It's frustrating to have to let go of so many big fish while trying to pick a few gag grouper out of the mix. We're catching some hefty mangrove snapper while searching for gags. Many of our stops end with a few of these prized fish. Mangrove snapper will nip at your fingers during hook removal, so use extra caution. We're sporadically catching a few kings here and there.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.