What's hot: Mangrove snapper fishing has been excellent inshore and offshore. These tasty fish, known as "mangoes" to many local anglers, do not mind the high temperatures of late summer. This is one of the best times of the year to target them.
Inshore: Just about anywhere there is submerged structure, mangrove snapper likely can be found. Small inshore wrecks hold them, as do docks in deeper water and rocky channel edges. Few fish are as wily as inshore mangrove snapper. They are suspicious of baited hooks, often circling them and taking swipes at them without biting. For this reason, veteran snapper anglers often fish at night, when the fish are easier to coax into biting. Using light leaders and minimal-sized hooks and sinkers is helpful. Another trick to catching mangoes is chum. Hanging a chum bag upcurrent from the structure will create a feeding frenzy that will cause the snapper to let their guard down just enough to strike.
Offshore: Mangrove snapper are bigger outside 80 feet of water and not nearly as wary of bait. All you need is a half sardine pinned on each of two 4/0 circle hooks tied to the line above a 4-ounce sinker.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 944-3474.