What's hot: Red snapper fishing couldn't get easier than it is now. We are concentrating in the 120- to 150-foot depths. These fish have ferocious appetites and usually devour any live or frozen bait that is presented to them in the right way. Start fishing with sardines until the bite is in full swing, then as things start to slow, switch to a live bait. During the course of a feed, the larger, more dominant snapper will move up in the water column. To target these fish, try a knocker rig, which consists of a smaller egg lead usually about 1/4 to 1/2 ounce placed on the main line right above the hook. The smaller lead will present the bait so it looks like a stunned baitfish sinking to the bottom and therefore is an easy target.
Other options: Red grouper fishing is excellent. Concentrate in depths of 110 feet or more. Look for them to be under bait stacks that are scattered on the edges of the hard bottom areas. Also look at the ledges and rolloffs in hard bottom areas for mangrove snapper. These fish will not venture far from their homes for a meal, so anchor right over the structure. Smaller baits are usually key for them this time of year.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.