Snook fishing has been good around the area lately, but you really got to time your trips around the tide and try to capitalize on that sunrise or sundown or nighttime action. We are having the most luck around the area using the soft plastic white paddle tails, imitation shrimp lures, or the early morning or low light conditions the surface lures work well too!
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We had a killer bite of red grouper early to middle of this past week prior to the little weather disturbance we have had. They were biting extremely well for us right ahead of that low approaching the area.
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Gag grouper action is very tough near shore right now overall unless you’re up in the bay around the shipping channel or passing near shore waters to head out deeper.
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Gag grouper fishing has slacked a bit, but we are still seeing a few fish in the 15-25lb range come up. The largest challenge is just getting them up off the bottom with the right tackle and a lot of luck with a little experience. You have to have a conventional reel with some power and at least 80-100lb test and if you’re out deeper than 140-160 at least 80-100lb maybe even 125lb leader trying to land that 20-25lb gag grouper. Live bait has been a great option for the gag grouper as well, but you can get them on the big chunks of bonita or whole octopus or squid too from time to time.
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Typically the pelagic action is best around the new moon and full moon as water is moving around more. We did see a great wahoo caught this past week and the kingfish have been active too with the occasional blackfin tuna.
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We had another great week with mostly gorgeous waterways. This current red tide event is extremely spotty with most pockets along the south side of Tampa Bay and outside at least my local area of operations from Fort De Soto to Johns Pass.
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We are seeing most of the action offshore and are more focused their due to the short red snapper season. We are fishing around 120-140ft at the shallowest end of things for these red snapper and the cut dead bait is working best like the bonita strips. However, we are having the most success and largest average size red snapper trips fishing closer to around 160-250ft of water. Look for those bigger shows coming up around the bait shows, ledges, rocks, peaks and offshore structure for the red snapper feeding active from the bottom as high up as nearly half way to the surface in some cases.
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