Offshore bottom fishing: Red grouper action remains steady in depths of 80 feet and deeper. We have been successful with both drifting and anchoring. The days that have a bit of wind seem to be more productive, probably because the boat bounces up and down and gives the baits more movement. We have used "knocker-style" rigs and jigs near the bottom with great results, too. This particular setup puts a sinker or jig head directly above the hook, allowing more bait action on the bottom. A couple of twitches with the rod tip makes the bait bounce, enticing even the pickiest grouper. We add octopus and sardines to the hook for extra scent.
August kingfish: The past few weeks have been decent for large kingfish. They have been in the same areas we fish for grouper. Spanish sardines and cigar minnows are available, too, allowing anglers to catch the bait in the same spots as they fish. Many fish will follow schools of bait for days to ensure themselves a consistent food supply.
Cobia: We have also caught several impressive cobia this past week. Every year at about this time we seem to get good migrations of these bruisers at many locations. They are normally quite eager to grab any live bait in their path. Most of the fish are located around wrecks, springs, buoys and other floating debris. Their curiosity often causes them to swim directly to the boat immediately after it arrives on a spot. We recommend having a rod rigged and ready when heading to offshore wrecks.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.