Bottom fishing: Concentrate efforts for gag grouper on the small ledges and rock piles in depths of 40 to 80 feet. There are so many fish on most of these spots, forget using frozen baits or chum to get the bite going. For tackle, use 60- to 80-pound main line and an 80-pound leader. Remember, the last day of gag season is Nov. 15.
Amberjack: Every fall these fish make their way into the wrecks in as little as 50 feet to take advantage of the bait-rich waters closer to shore. Wrecks such as the Fin Barge, Sulphur Barge, Blackthorn and many others in the shallower depths will be holding decent amberjack for the next few months. Live baits and larger bucktail jigs will get their attention.
Mackerel: With every passing cold front the water temperature will fall. Kingfish are a bit scattered, but the normal spots, such as the shipping channel, Indian Shores Reef and the Rube Allen, continue to hold bait, and this will keep the kings in the area. Spanish mackerel have been easy to catch. When a front passes, the wind starts to come out of an easterly direction. Water on the beach will generally take a day or two to clear up, and this is the time to target Spanish mackerel. Troll a No. 1 planer with a No. 1 squid spoon at around 6 knots right on the beach. When a school is located, troll the edges to prevent spooking them and keeping the school feeding.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 or www.fintasticinc.com.