Weather Bodes Well For Grouper Anglers
Over the past week or so our weather has been fairly decent. The lack of cold fronts spilling cold air across the Gulf has kept water temperatures from falling any further. This in turn will keep the grouper chewing a bit longer.
The gag grouper bite in 70 to 120 feet has been very consistent and should remain so until the next major front rolls through. Small breaks near the pipe and have been producing good numbers of keeper gags, a few red grouper and mangrove snapper and all the red snapper you care to catch. Get too close to the pipe and all you'll find is red snapper and small amberjack.
Up to the north off Tarpon Springs, the grouper bite has been hot in the 40- to 70-foot range. Use cut bait to get the smaller fish chewing which in turn will draw in the bigger fish. After you get them chewing drop a couple of big pinfish down on heavy tackle, the action of the live bait will entice the bigger grouper to eat.
Out deeper, fresh water springs are starting to produce. These springs are known fish havens in the winter time as the warm fresh water bubbling up from the bottom is often warm than the surrounding waters which will draw in the bait fish. The bait fish will draw in the bigger fish and the bigger fish will draw in anglers.
Captain Randy Rochelle runs the "Gotta Go" out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 365-3218 or go to www.islandercharters.net.