What's hot: We've been consistently catching grouper during the summer. My clients have landed more than 400 keepers over the past 20 outings. The 20 keepers a day indicate healthy stocks in 30-60 feet.
Extraordinary fishing: This has been one of our best years for gag grouper in depths of up to 50 feet over the past decade. It is as if they never left from last year's fall and spring migrations. Some spots are holding 15-pounders, a few in 25 feet even bigger fish.
Location is key: Normally, you will find gag grouper where microminnows are found. These baitfish ball up in tight schools. The majority of microminnows are Spanish sardines, which, in my opinion, are one of the best baits the gulf offers for any game fish. If there's surface action from the birds and pelagic fish, you will find bait balls. If you have a rocky piece of structure stored in your GPS, try it. The big groupers are close to their food source.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.