What's hot: With spring water temperatures climbing into the high 70s and low 80s, the migration of kingfish to the north is ending, and grouper and snapper fishing offshore will take center stage. During the next couple of months fish that have been nearshore will go offshore to depths of 80 feet or more for cooler water. During this short relocation, grouper might be sporadic from spot to spot.
Tips: Locating these migrating fish requires an east-to-west search of the bottom off our coast. Once fish are located, work the edges of the hard-bottom and ledges for consistent action. If on the next trip the area seems void, move west or southwest.
Tactics: A high-quality bottom machine is key in finding grouper and snapper. Set ranges as low as possible and tune up the gain to see the fish. A zoom feature helps to define the characteristics of the bottom, which is crucial in determining what type of structure you are fishing. When searching for these bottom fish, turn the automatic functions off and tune the manual features to read as accurately as possible.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.