Bad weather is not convenient for fish or angler. For those who had hoped for a Thanksgiving fish fry, the wind likely dashed those plans. Persistent blustery conditions have kept many anglers at home for the better part of the fall season. With gag grouper closing soon, we can only hope for a day or two of improved conditions. While the recent fronts moving through the area have not produced very cold conditions, they have put a halt to most offshore fishing. Strong winds produce rough seas that send grouper looking for structure for protection. Wrecks, man-made reefs and large rock ledges hold grouper during a blow. Look for grouper around these structures or nearby, when conditions improve. Generally, the gulf gets a little muddied during a storm. Afterward, grouper might have a hard time finding a lively pinfish; during these times a combination of squid and sardine is a better choice for bait. Unseasonably warm conditions and water might have kept the gag grouper much farther offshore than they normally are. However, water temperature has dropped considerably over the past couple of weeks. I believe we will now find the shallow-water gag grouper that should have been here all along, just in time for the season to close.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com