Fishing offshore after a storm moves through the gulf is typically outstanding. As a storm moves closer, the fish congregate on larger structures and move away from smaller bottom. They do this because the structure offers protection from currents and turbulent waters. There also is often a better food supply there. We often see this during winter when cold fronts are sweeping through the area. The best time to take advantage of post-storm fishing is within a day or two of the water calming.
Most local offshore wrecks and reefs produce few grouper, but try those areas after a storm and you might be surprised by the action. Anchoring around some of the larger reefs and wrecks takes practice. The best and the safest method is to find an edge or a piece of structure near the border, on the uptide or wind side. This way, when you drop the anchor you will not hang up on the wreck. This also gives you an upper hand because you are not dropping right into the structure.
The amberjack bite is still strong, with the best catches coming from depths of 120 feet or more. Last week we fished a wreck in 160 feet and caught numerous amberjack in excess of 30 pounds with the larger fish pushing 50 pounds. We used live blue runners and standard 80-pound tackle.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411.