Great bottom fishing: Gag grouper fishing is starting to pick up in depths of 40 feet and less. Live pinfish seem to be the hot bait; they are easily accessible around bell buoys. A few tiny pieces of squid tipped to a sabiki rig will get instant results. Not all traditional spots are holding keepers, but a few are extremely good. We have been giving each stop about five minutes. If a big fish is not brought up in that time, leave. Keep trying different rock piles; eventually you will hit the jackpot. On several occasions this week, at least seven grouper longer than 22 inches were taken from one stop.
Giant macks: Kingfishing has been spotty. Some days the concentration will be large, and the next, most will have migrated south. We have occasionally hooked a fish while grouper digging. Tossing a flat line off the back while anchored has produced fish up to 36 pounds. If the weather stays mild, expect another push of kings to arrive around Thanksgiving.
Rare species: Tripletails have been spotted on a lot of shallow spots. These tasty fish like to swim on their side, normally hanging around a crab trap buoy or a clump of seaweed. Live shrimp tossed in front of their snout will get instant results.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, e-mail [email protected] or go to jawstoo.com.