Look for a window: Weather will play an important role in offshore trips over the next few months. There are many websites that will assist us in planning successful trips. Looking at extended forecasts and wind directions will help, but having a flexible work schedule ensures the best trips.
Shallow water grouper: Bottom fishing in between cold fronts can be rewarding. Gag grouper are very in tune with the barometric pressure. These fish tend to stack up on structures such as wrecks and ledges right before a front and will stay on the bottom until the weather subsides.
Right time to go: When a front approaches our area from the north, the winds will come out of the south then the southwest. As the front passes, we will get a few hours of rain and the winds will change and come from the north. Depending on the severity of the front, these northerly winds usually last a couple of days. But as soon as these winds subside to 10-15 mph, it is time to get out there because the gags will be hungry. They will feed heavily for a few days then leave in search of more food.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.