Nice find: Heading offshore the other day I noticed the flash of several jumping mackerel. As we got closer, we could see that the mackerel had the water in a froth as they forced small baitfish to the surface. Mackerel have been almost nonexistent for the better part of the season, but there was no shortage on this particular day. We boated 26 mackerel and continued offshore for some bottom fishing.
What's hot: Red grouper appears plentiful. We found that 50 feet of water is the minimum depth to start, and the bite was even better to about 80 feet. Take lots of bait; frozen sardines and squid is the standard fare. Live pinfish should tempt the largest grouper, usually gag or black will take that offering.
Be watchful: While offshore watch for the occasional whale shark; one found Tuesday had a substantial escort of 100 cobia. Also, massive bull sharks are in the area. While fighting a lemon shark, a big bull tried to make a meal of our catch.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.