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Kingfish take center stage
By Steve Papen
Published April 5, 2007
What's hot: Kingfish are at center stage in the offshore scene, but they are not the only targets on our offshore trips this time of year. Grouper and snapper fishing are outstanding in most depths, but action has been extremely consistent in depths of 90-110 feet. On a recent trip offshore, while concentrating on small ledges and rock piles in these depths, we were rewarded with red and gag grouper along with some of the year's largest mangrove snapper. Large schools of juvenile Spanish sardines have taken residence on these hard-bottom areas and will help keep these fish there at least a few more weeks.
Tactics: Anchoring accurately is critical when targeting grouper, as these fish will seldom stray far from the protection of their rocky lair for a meal. If a marker buoy is used, make sure to have it set to the right depth because too much slack in the line will cause the buoy to miss its mark. If the boat is more than 20 feet from the marker, a second try is necessary.
Tips: A variety of live baits can sometimes make a good day better. Use a No. 8 sabiki rig and tip it with small pieces of squid for faster results.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 or at fintasticinc.com.