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Nature Coast: Captain's Corner

Heavy winds and foul weather have plagued offshore anglers since recreational shallow-water grouper fishing opened March 15. There have been few days that have allowed any boats to make it out more than 9 miles into federal waters. So gags have been virtually untouched for a long time. This should translate to outstanding action when the winds subside.

Where to look

Gag grouper prefer larger structures such as ledges and wrecks. These high-profile structures are easy to find and well-known. But after extended periods of no fishing, the taller structures are where you want to go. Weeks later when normal fishing pressure has resumed, you will need to target small, lesser-known areas. Most experienced grouper anglers will not fish a spot for at least two weeks after working it. Hitting the same spot every week rarely produces great catches.

Expect dirty water

The coast has experienced at least two periods of extremely strong winds in as many weeks. Since the first one, the water has been turbid out to more than 30 miles. Repeated blasts and high seas have kept sediment suspended in the water column, and the visibility has been poor. Bring fresh-cut bait for grouper. They bite smelly dead baits better than live ones in dirty water.

Nature Coast: Captain's Corner 03/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:44am]
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