Offshore fishing has been excellent for grouper, trigger fish, mangrove snapper and amberjack with good numbers of gags in 30 to 40 feet.
Start grouper fishing with dead bait to get the fish chewing, then use live bait, pinfish or grunts, for the bigger fish. Trigger fish up to 4 pounds have been feeding as soon as lines are put in the water. Use a No. 1 hook with a small piece of squid on 20- to 30-pound leaders. The catch has been a couple dozen trigger fish on half-day trips. Trigger fish have tough skin and are hard to fillet but have a nice firm white meat and are great eating.
Offshore on springs and shipwrecks in 90 to 130 feet of water, the amberjacks have been feeding strong. For the biggest amberjacks use blue runners. The bigger the bait the bigger the amberjack. Wreck fishing has its advantages: you can catch grouper, lane snappers, yellow tail snappers and mangrove snappers while fishing for the jacks. You need heavy tackles to catch jacks: 60-pound test line, 30-inch leaders with a No. 7 live bait hook. If jacks do not bite immediately, try a silver jig.
_ Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters the Enterprise out of Kingfish Wharf, Treasure Island. Call (727) 430-3474._ Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters the Enterprise out of Kingfish Wharf, Treasure Island. Call (727) 430-3474.