Offshore action: Red grouper, gag grouper and red snapper can be harvested by recreational anglers this week. Skyrocketing fuel prices the past few years have forced many boaters to be picky about their fishing dates, especially offshore. This month is, by far, the anglers' choice to go out.
Catch and release: Many times in the past few months we have safely released large gag grouper because of the closure. We hope for another shot at the same fish this month. Summer is not traditionally the best time to target gag grouper, but this year should prove otherwise. Based on my experiences the past few months, this season should open with decent landings. We've seen good populations in all depths. Even shallower spots (30-40 feet) are still holding fish. Anglers can target their traditional fall and spring spots, and catch enough fillets for dinner. Depths of 60 feet are holding nice gags and red grouper, too.
What else: When fishing deeper waters for red snapper, anglers will find both red and gag grouper on many of the same spots. We purposely kept away from many snapper spots to prevent disrupting the gag grouper populations.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.