Bottom fishing: Red grouper fishing remains stable in 80- to 90-foot depths. A few gag grouper also have mixed in. Live and dead baits have worked equally well. Mixing up your offering gets the ball rolling. Some frozen sardines, a few pinfish, squirrel fish, and some chunks of squid or octopus are a great way to get their attention. Putting this series of baits down to the bottom will entice one of the more finicky groupers to eat. This has a domino effect, luring in curious fish from other locations. The more commotion the better when you're bottom-digging.
Big fish: We are still catching kingfish, bonito and mahimahi at the same grouper locations. Tossing a flat line off the back of the boat resulted in the biggest fish of the day almost every time last week. Most of the fish were big kings.
Bigger fish: We caught an extraordinary fish Saturday. An 8-foot tiger shark swallowed one of our baits and took off. After about 10 minutes of retrieving the line, we saw it. It had a shiny, bluish color that made the telltale black marking of a tiger shark stand out. We hook only a couple of tigers a year in these waters, so this was special. After a few photos and video, we let it swim away.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at email@example.com, jawstoo.com or (727) 439-2628.