Anglers are excited about red snapper and gag grouper season, which starts today. Numerous clients are traveling from around the country to get in on the action. We have trips planned this month to specifically target these two types of tasty reef fish, along with red grouper. These three Florida species are known for their flaky, white fillets and mild taste. This year we've located red snapper at many shallower areas in the gulf. Normally they're found in deeper waters of at least 115 feet. Most anglers travel to at least that depth in hopes of landing larger fish. Our shallowest catch this spring was in 45 feet west of Indian Rocks Beach. There seem to be small schools on a few of the rocks where we target gag grouper. Limestone rocks that have high relief seem to be the locations holding shallow-water red snapper. The further west you travel, the more consistent the numbers are for red snapper. It's a great to see them rebound to impressive numbers the past 10 years. Wrecks also will lure in a few of these fish. Sardines and cut bait are a great way to get the fish biting in the beginning stages of your bottom session. Add live bait into the mix after a few minutes of action to nab a larger fish.
Dave Mistretta captains Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.