What's not hot: Weather has limited anglers this week, especially the strong winds. An east wind pulls the king and Spanish mackerel closer to shore. Because of that, we had a couple of successful trips but never got farther than a mile from the beach. Once the front passed, the wind shifted from the west and shut down most fishing in the gulf.
Bait: There was an abundance of baitfish off of the beach last week while seabirds and pelicans filled themselves with the glut. The mackerel and sharks were abundant feeding in the shoal of sardines and thread herring. Hopefully, the change of conditions didn't run the fish off and we can resume targeting mackerel near-shore.
Be aware: Dec. 3 is the last day you can catch and keep gag grouper. (Red grouper and others can be kept afterward.) There has been a fair amount of gag grouper catches reported but not nearly as many as last year at this time. I believe they didn't migrate to our shallow-water areas as normal. But like everything in nature, there is a cycle and a pattern they follow. We can only hope to understand it.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com