Awaiting 72: Typically November and December are the favorite months for gulf anglers. Species such as Spanish and king mackerel, cobia, mahi-mahi and wahoo migrate through our area when the water hits 72 degrees. Look for both kinds of mackerel to feed from the beach to about 20 miles out. Find and catch the baits in the area you are fishing (threadfin herring, ladyfish and shad on the beach, and blue runners, cigar minnows and Spanish sardines offshore) and you will find the fish.
Look for cobia on wrecks and in the shipping channel around the markers come mid November. Cobia mate for life, so if you hook one, put another bait in the water to catch its counterpart. Pinfish, threadfin herring or a 1/2-ounce bucktail jig will work well.
Grouper inch closer: As usual, gag grouper are right on time with their migration from the northern gulf. Look for good numbers on ledges and rock piles in the 60- to 80-foot depths right now. With every passing cold front these fish will move closer to shore.
Offshore: This a great time to get offshore, but the cold fronts from the north will rush through the area fast and without warning, so keep an eye on the forecast before venturing far.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 or www.fintasticinc.com.