What's hot: Offshore bottom fishing is outstanding, with anglers bragging about catching limits of gags. We've been doing very well in 55-85 feet. Amberjack fishing is outstanding. The bigger the baits, the bigger the jacks. Snapper, scamp and white grunts have been burning up the rods. Fish hard bottom, ledges, rock piles and shipwrecks in 45-90 feet. Most small ledges are holding lots of fish. Most mangrove snappers are choosing live baits such as small pinfish or pilchards. Frozen sardines and squid are a main requirement when bottom fishing our coast.
Tackle: Bring 30-pound class as well as tackle up to 60 pounds to catch amberjacks and big gags. We use fluorocarbon leaders 30/60 strength and sinkers just big enough to get our baits to the bottom.
Tactics: To speed up the bite when bottom fishing, drop a frozen chum bag on a line about 10 feet off the bottom. Make any major moves during slack tide.
Larry "Huffy'' Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 709-9396.