What's hot: Red snapper season opens Sunday, significantly shortened this year to nine days. Many seasoned anglers are preparing for the typically long run of 30-50 miles offshore where snapper are normally found. Recently, massive amounts of baitfish were 4-7 miles from the beach. Shoals of threadfin herring and sardines were easily found as they were "showering" from the attack of king and Spanish mackerel, and terns and frigate birds from above.
Tips: Lots of sharks have been reported near Tampa Bay and along the Gulf beaches. The sudden influx of bait should draw in the Spanish mackerel schools — with the sharks following close behind. Catches of red grouper were improving in depths as shallow as 45 feet. Look for fragmented natural structure that holds baitfish clouds near the bottom. Smaller ledges and rock piles have also been productive.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit www.CaptainLarryBlue.com