GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides.
Will someone cut the fan off? Man, has the wind been blowing. That being said, the offshore bite is on. Gag grouper are being caught in the bay trolling the 25+ MirrOlures, 4-ounce jigs behind planers and just bottom fishing.
It’s the same story off the beaches. The gag grouper are moving in closer with each front. We are getting them in the 50-foot depths, which is awesome. No more long runs for a while.
One of my favorite ways to catch these is to go yellow tailing. Those of you who have fished the Keys for yellowtail snapper know what I’m saying. Make some sand balls, cut loose a few freebie pinfish then put one on a jig head attached to a 30-pound-class spinning rod and hold on. Most of the time, the jig won’t reach the bottom before a big old gag will grab it. The key is in the chumming — you want to chum for at least 10 minutes before dropping a line in. As you do this and let a couple of pinfish go (the pinfish will head straight for the bottom) watch the fish finder and you’ll see the stack of fish grow and grow. You will actually see the larger grouper come up and hit the freebies you have offered.
The fish we are landing on lighter tackle average 10-15 pounds, with every trip having a couple of 20- to 25-pound gags. On light tackle, a 25-pound gag grouper in shallow water — it just doesn’t get any better.
Also, while you are doing this, be sure to run out a flat line because king mackerel are sure to make an appearance. And last year at this time, within two miles of the beach we were getting blackfin tuna and sailfish. So be sure to run your flat line. Trust me, it’s worth the time.
Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the “Reel Animals Fishing Show” on Saturdays from 6:30-7 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and from 6-9 a.m. on 970 AM, and on Sundays from 7-9 a.m. on 620 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit www.reelanimalsfishingshow.com.