Hogfish action continues to impress near shore right now. This past week the bite was good but a little softer than it has been overall but that has a lot to do with the turbulent weather. These guys are still biting best around 40-60ft of water, but you can find them as shallow as 30ft up to around 90ft fairly frequently. We catch them deeper, but they are most commonly targeted in shallower because it’s easier to get them to chew near shore in that 40-60ft range. Once you go deeper, there is so many more other aggressive fish around to get your bait to those leader shy and unaggressive hogfish. They are one of the last fish to eat on a spot, so it takes some patience to really dial in on these guys using hook and line. However, using lighter tackle around 30lb floro 3-4ot hook and minimal weight really helps you get a great chance at getting them to eat. Live shrimp continues to be the favorite bait for targeting hogfish but fiddler crabs, sandfleas, and rock shrimp work well too and help cut down on the bycatch.
Red grouper, Scamp grouper, and all other shallow water groupers are now protected in the ‘deep water closure’ or ’20 fathom closure’ for the months of February and March.
Trout action remains steady through the area despite the weather and murky conditions. We are saw some great action around the local flats, docks, jetties, mangrove islands and virtually anywhere these trout could set up and ambush the passing bait being swept by the tides.