What's hot: This past month, grouper remained at the top of the priority list for my clients. Consistent catches in 30 to 80 feet of water have been common. Targeting long stretches of flat, hard (rocky) bottom produced the best results. Limits of four per person have been common. Our success came from thoroughly working the areas holding good numbers of fish.
Details: Once you locate a decent amount of fish, work in all directions on your next stops, searching for other groups of fish. We noticed that other populations of fish often can be found a few hundred yards away. Often these stretches of hard bottom run a half mile, normally north to south, allowing you to stop repeatedly to search for new fish. Work all the way to the edges of the sand and the hard bottom.
Summer routine: We start fishing each day where we left off the day before. It's common for us to try up to 10 locations in a day. Only three or four spots may end up being best, allowing us to catch impressive amounts. If we see no grouper in a couple of minutes, we move. This aggressive type of fishing requires extra effort from the entire crew. Frequent sessions of anchoring can wear everybody out quickly in the heat, however, the results are well worth it, with limits of grouper.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.