What's hot: Grouper fishing in nearshore waters of the gulf has been good recently. With the attention of most offshore anglers focused on kingfish, bottom fishing has received less pressure. Limestone ledge formations in 30-60 feet hold good numbers of gag and red grouper. These bottom dwellers have followed the same bait stacks that attract kingfish.
Tip: Kingfish season is the perfect time to locate new grouper holes. Make use of time spent slow-trolling live baits for kings by paying attention to the bottom sonar. The same hard-bottom areas that hold kingfish also contain scattered rocky ledges. Mark spots on the GPS when they are seen, then return, anchor and bottom fish.
For the kids: Alternate species found on these same rock structures can keep kids busy with seemingly nonstop action. Mangrove snapper, white grunts, flounder, sea bass, trigger fish, porgies and more are always cooperative and eager to eat a piece of frozen squid. Scale tackle down with lighter leads and smaller hooks for the best results.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727)510-1009.