© St. Petersburg Times, published November 25, 2002
Grouper fishing is as good as it gets now. Cooler water has drawn schools of gags in as shallow as 12 feet. Foul weather makes the bite better, so don't let dirty water keep you from trying spots near the beach.
Several anglers caught their limit of grouper and released other legal fish in dirty water just off Clearwater and Indian Rocks Beach.
To find grouper, avoid other boats. Just about any rock or patch of hardbottom could hold grouper. Target areas with the least pressure.
In murky conditions it often takes at least 15 minutes before fish find your bait. Hook a few and the commotion will attract more.
Live or dead baits work when the water is stirred up, but you will have to pick through by-catch with frozen sardines or cut bait.
A big, live pinfish or pigfish will not be bothered by sea bass, grunts or very small grouper. It targets only large grouper or gamefish. Cobia and big flounder also have been taken around the nearshore rocks recently.
-- Ed Walker charters out of Palm Harbor. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail TarponEd@aol.com .