What's hot: Grouper are the sure bet offshore now. We have been catching great numbers of both red and gag in depths as shallow as 30 feet. Tackle up, because some of the gags we have been getting have been in the 14- to 16-pound range. Anything less than 60-pound test is asking for trouble on some of the undercut ledges off the coast.
Tips: Snapper fishing continues to be productive in 90-140 feet. While the main catch is mangrove snapper, we also have had quite a few yellowtail and lane snapper. These tasty fish love fresh shrimp. Try anchoring 50-100 feet uptide of your favorite ledge and set out a small chum slick with sardines cut into tiny pieces. Pin the shrimp tail-first to a jig head (quarter-ounce to half-ounce) and let it fall unimpeded back into the slick. The snapper will rise off the bottom and hit your drifting bait.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.