Offshore fishing this past week has been excellent to outstanding.
Most trips have been to 100 feet and deeper. Joey Masiano on Go Fast Charters has been catching limits of grouper and snapper early, then free-lining live bait to catch barracuda, blackfin tuna and dolphin, mostly by drifting over bait schools in 110 to 120 feet southwest of John's Pass. Live and dead bait were used while drifting. A good hookup spot was marked with Loran or GPS or the old-fashioned method of throwing a jug maker, then the area was fished for a while. Grouper up to 20 pounds have been caught.
Mike Hubbard and Garner Koons worked the pipeline in 100 feet of water. Hubbard reported the mangrove snapper were thick. After they fished the spot for a while, they put on their dive gear to check out the area. They reported the rocks on the bottom were huge, covering an area bigger than a football field, and rocks were piled along the pipeline. The bottom was stacked with hogfish, mangrove snapper and plenty of goliath grouper, some up to 300 pounds. There are more than 20 mitigation spots along the gas pipeline similar to the one reported by Hubbard. They are proving to be productive and holding good numbers of fish.
Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call 727 709-9396 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org