Lots of action: East winds have made things a bit bumpy offshore, but the fishing has been good. Water temperatures are still in the 70s about 25 miles west of Clearwater. These comfortable temps are luring in a variety of interesting game fish.
Bottom fishing: Red grouper have been arriving in 80 feet of water. Work the edges of the limestone bottom and sand. When the winds are high, anchor along these edges. Give it about 10 minutes. Often this week, a few small groupers got the ball rolling. When these smaller bottom-fish got active, my clients were warned to hold on tight. A couple of keeper-sized fish often joined in. After a bit of watching, they simply cannot resist, stealing the baits from the smaller fish.
Pelagic: Try to keep a free-lined sardine behind the boat. Kingfish often get fired up at the exact time all the bottom rods are bending. Big macks move through quickly, attacking an offering then moving on. After a couple of these sessions, you can often reach your limit of kings as you dig for grouper. Many sharks also have been attracted to all the action.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at email@example.com, jawstoo.com or (727) 439-2628.