© St. Petersburg Times, published July 14, 2002
The weather last week made getting offshore next to impossible, but the next few days should be nicer.
Red grouper fishing has been good over hard bottom in 110-160 feet. Slow-drifting live or frozen bait has worked.
Watch for the smallest of shows on your fish-finder, as smaller signals have produced some of the biggest fish. Also watch for roll-offs, which when combined with a good show can produce a boxful of grouper and snapper.
Plan to get out around the full moon in August for snapper. Full moons in June, July and August are as good as it gets.
In the next couple of months you should add flat-lined live baits to your grouper spread because there will be dolphin and a few tuna looking for an easy meal.
If you plan to go deep, take a couple of 4- to 6-inch trolling lures because bluewater fishing peaks this month. Look for grasslines, rips, temperature breaks or any floating debris. Troll 2-4 lures around any of these and you might find wahoo, tuna or dolphin.
-- Randy Rochelle runs the charter boat Gotta Go in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 528-1213 or by e-mail at Islandercharters@ij.net.