The Tampa Bay Times
Calm waters between cold fronts have allowed anglers to explore many depths in the gulf. A variety of fish have been available. We opted to try some inshore ledges within 20 mile. Our reward was some nice sized gag groupers. Not all rocky areas have been replenished from last years red tide, but we noticed positive activity on many spots. Many locations also held smaller undersized fish as well.
Red grouper activity has also picked up for anglers travel a bit further from shore, A thirty mile track is still needed to be successful for larger keepers. We did manage to nab a few keeper reds in 67 feet of water, 16 miles from shore.
Kingfish have been available at all depths. Water temps are getting colder, but we keep finding fish daily. Bait schools seem to be where the majority of fish are being landed. Many locations are holding large schools of pilchards and thread fin herring. These two bait fish types alone are enough to lure a hungry migration of kings our way. Every cold front we experience their presence will diminish, since water temps below 68 degrees force the kings to move on.