Captains corner: Warmer temperature sends grouper deep
Every year when the offshore water temperature rises to the mid 80s, the grouper start their migration to the deeper, cooler waters.
Where: Look for the main concentration of gag grouper in depths of 120 feet and more. Focus on the harder patches right in the middle of the reef, instead of the sandy edges. Ledges and roll-offs in these areas will hold fish, too.
Baits: When the water warms, live bait is an absolute necessity. Use pinfish, pigfish, or Spanish sardines.
Tips: You can manipulate the bite while bottom fishing. The first few baits down should be hooked through the nose, using whatever size leader you normally use. As the bite slows, lighten the leader and move the hook location closer to the back of the bait (right behind the anal fin) on the bottom of the bait.
Watch out: When going offshore in summer, stay alert for thunderstorms. Keep a VHF weather radio on during the early afternoon for updates and warnings.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 or www.fintasticinc.com.
© 2017 Tampa Bay Times
The charts show the rise and fall of tides measured in feet and plots the tides on a one-week timeline. Times and depth may vary depending on weather conditions. You can compute the tides from these adjustments:
North (Anclote River) High Low
Anclote Key (south end) -01:37 -00:47
Bayport +01:13 +01:39
Cedar Key +01:16 +01:03
Crystal River, Florida Power +01:13 +01:33
Hudson, Hudson Creek +00:06 +00:01
Indian Rocks Beach (inside) +00:19 +00:10
Mangrove Point, Crystal Bay +01:34 +01:54
Pithlachascotee River +00:18 +00:52
St. Joseph Sound -00:34 -00:42
Steinhatchee River entrance +01:33 +01:32
Suwannee River entrance +01:22 +01:21
Withlacoochee River entrance +01:23 +01:58
South (The Pier) High Low
Anna Maria, pier -02:10 -02:19
Egmont Key, Egmont channel -02:15 -03:20
Gandy Bridge +00:59 +00:57
Gulfport, Boca Ciega Bay -01:32 -01:05
John's Pass, Boca Ciega Bay -02:14 -02:04
Maderia Beach Causeway -01:32 -01:45
Mullet Key Channel (Skyway) -02:03 -02:01
Pass-a-Grille Beach -01:34 -01:30
Pinellas Point -00:22 -00:29
Redfish Point, Manatee River -00:30 -00:14
Safety Harbor +01:32 +01:34
Sarasota Bay -01:38 -00:58
Corey Causeway -01:18 -00:44
Venice Inlet (inside) -02:02 -01:38