Whenever the weather allows us to venture offshore fishing for the various bottom species available to us has been great. Gag and red grouper, white grunts, porgies, Lane and mangrove snapper have made for a colorful and delicious box of fish. All of the bottom dwelling fish are feeding heavily in anticipation of the next three months when the baitfish will be absent from our waters. The cold water has slowed the metabolism of these fish and there are several things that can be done to stimulate them to feed. We always start out using squid and cut sardines to place some scent in the water to draw the bottom fish in range of our baited hooks. One or two rods are outfitted with double hooked snapper rigs to catch white grunts and the other snapper species, This activity by hooked fish will draw the larger predators from a distance. Tomtates, spot tailed grunts and squirrelfish will inevitably be caught and they can be put to good use as chum. Filet them, then use a pair of scissors or knife to reduce the filet to very small pieces of chum. A constant stream of these small pieces will trigger the bite from the grouper and not fill them up. The 60 foot depths have provided the best action for gag grouper and mangrove snapper. The 70 foot depths have been best for red grouper, scamp and Lane snapper.

CapMel Staff
CapMel Staff

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