Beat Heat With Night Snapper Action
GO FISHING is a daily look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Randy Rochelle. Another summertime full moon has come and gone and for the most part the snapper were biting. I received a few reports from those who ventured out in the dark searching for a few full moon mangos. Most returned with good numbers of mangos but it seemed a lack of tide and wind made fishing a bit tough. The hottest bite seemed to be around the 80- to 110-foot range with fish ranging in the 2- to 6-pound class. Another hot spot for mangrove snapper has been around the Tampa Bay area bridges. Search around the rock piles and pilings until you mark some fish and then use chum to draw them up and get them feeding. Gag grouper remain elusive for most although it seems the bite is a bit more consistent to the north in 50 to 90 feet. For those fishing south of Tarpon Springs, the best bet for gags is out past the 200-foot mark. Talked with captain Buddy Bradham of Mother Ocean Charters and he said the gags where very tough to come by in the Middle Grounds. Red snapper and red grouper are thick and you'll find some decent mangrove snapper mixed in, but the gags are missing in action. The blue water continues to heat up and will come to a peak during the next month or so. The word is there are good numbers of dolphin and wahoo, but the tuna are a bit tougher to come by.
Captain Randy Rochelle runs the 'Gotta Go' out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 365-3218 or www.islandercharters.net.