This week brought better conditions for fishing. After all the intense wind and rain from the hurricanes, the 15-knot winds that have been prevalent for days are welcomed by many die-hard fishermen.
Offshore grouper digging is starting to pick back up from last week's slow fishing. Water clarity is improving from the easterly winds, and 90 feet of water has produced the most action for the red grouper. It's taking a bit more work, compared to a few weeks ago, but you can find a good load of fish if you work the edges of the limestone rolloffs.
Gag grouper are being brought up from many of the rocks in 100-plus feet of water. We had a banner day on Monday working this depth. Numerous gags more than 10 pounds inhaled our live pinfish as soon as they hit the bottom. Dead sardines accounted for their fair share of keepers, too.
Big mangrove snapper stole the show after the grouper bite slowed. We managed to catch 19 of these delicious fish, all averaging 4 pounds.
One of the biggest mangroves was 27 inches long, weighing 7 pounds. Oversized pilchards were the best bait for the mangos. Sending bait to the bottom, then taking one crank off the bottom, got their attention immediately.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, or e-mail salesjawstoo.com.