Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Grouper easy to find in shallow waters off west-central Florida

What's hot: Finding grouper in the shallow waters off our coast has been as easy as finding a piece of hard bottom or a ledge, anchoring over it and dropping a bait to the bottom. I have been fishing offshore here for a long time, and I have never seen grouper fishing this easy. We have been concentrating our efforts in depths of 60 to 90 feet.

Amberjack watch: Amberjack reopens Friday after an emergency closure in October. We need to be responsible with these fish next year; they are nearing the end of their 10-year rebuilding plan. Because their quota was exceeded this year, the quota will be that much lower in 2010. So keep only what you need and release the rest. Look for giant schools over wrecks and springs in 80 feet or more.

Deep water: Deep-water haunts are full of new fish. This is a great time of year to target monster gag groupers. Last week, fishing in 130 feet, we were rewarded with numerous fish in the 20-pound range and a carborita grouper pushing almost 50 pounds. If weather allows, fish some of the summertime areas in 150 to 240 feet, like the Elbow, or around the 30 and 40 fathom ridges. These larger fish are more likely to fall for big bait. Large tinker mackerel and big squirrel fish are great.

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

Captain's Corner: Grouper easy to find in shallow waters off west-central Florida 12/30/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 8:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity


    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  2. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support


    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  3. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  5. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-name prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times