Sunday, November 19, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Grouper bite consistent

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What's hot: Grouper fishing in most depths has been very consistent. The shallower depths between 40 and 90 feet have held good numbers of nice gag grouper. Concentrate on ledges and have plenty of frisky, live baits. Red grouper are thick at 100 to 180 feet. Live and frozen baits are producing equally. Mangrove snapper fed aggressively during this past full moon and should do so during the next full moon cycle, even during the day. Smaller live baits such as pinfish, grunts or whitebait have been best. Tuna fishing has been hit or miss. Concentrate in depths of 160 feet or more. Start at a local bridge for a hefty live well of whitebait. Once on scene start a trickle of live chummers. Once anything is spotted feeding off the stern, use a couple of larger baits on spinning gear, with 20- to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader to a 5/0 circle hook. Fish are averaging 20-25 pounds.

What else: Scattered grass offshore in 130-200 feet have held small schools of mahi. Though they are a bit small now, they grow about an inch per week. Trolling small jet-head lures between 7 and 8 knots has led to a few catches for the fish box.

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

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