Busy days offshore: We have had success fishing offshore lately. A variety of fish has been available at different times. We started to produce some keeper red grouper in depths of 90-plus feet. Lots of undersized fish are ready to eat immediately after baits hit the bottom. After a few minutes of nonstop action from juveniles, the bigger fish move in. We were able to snag one or two keepers from each of our stops on our last trip. A few kingfish were caught while bottom fishing, so don't hesitate to toss a free-line bait off the back. Blackfin tuna, bonito, sharks and cobia have added to our grouper collection, making for some interesting days of fishing.
Spinner sharks: Large spinner sharks seem to be present wherever bonito show up. Filleting the bonito and tossing them off the back is sure to get a spinner's attention. They're quite active once hooked, leaping from the water and spinning like a top. This wild aerial display can be exciting. As far as table-fare goes, I recommend letting them go. Their fillets are not that good to eat. Plus most of the female sharks are pregnant with six to eight pups. We've hooked probably 50 spinner sharks this week for clients desiring a big fish. The anglers weren't disappointed by the tussle these brawny sharks deliver.
Unusual baitfish: Flying fish seem to be everywhere, from 100 feet and deeper. These interesting fish lure many pelagic game fish to us, so don't be surprised if a big wahoo or tuna shows up in their vicinity.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, jawstoo.com or (727) 439-2628