Capt. Bob’s West Central Florida’s Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Hubbard
Island Paradise Charters
I would have to say the most popular offshore species for West Central Florida anglers is Grouper. Known for their tackle testing demeanor and excellent table fair, they always bring a smile to the lucky angler that gets a hookup with one of these beasts.
Grouper are considered to be an offshore species but Gag Grouper can actually be caught just about anywhere. However, most near shore Grouper are undersized especially with the new size limit of 24 inches for Gag’s. Larger keeper Grouper on the west coast are generally located from around 9 miles on out on hard rocky bottom. Red Grouper, Scamp and Red Hind are located in even deeper water. Yellow Fin and Snowy are deep drop fishing in around 600 feet of water. We prefer large #8 circle hooks tied on to 5 feet of 150 lb. fluorocarbon leader. Use a 6-ounce weight out to around 45 feet then 8-ounce out to around 120 feet. Main line is usually 80 lb. mono or 100 to 120 lb. Dacron.
Numbers, numbers, numbers is what everyone is always asking for. GPS coordinates that can put you on prime Grouper grounds is the main key to success. There are numbers that are public that can be found on some charts or maybe you are lucky enough to no someone with good numbers. Having a GOOD depth recorder is a necessity to find fish and establish tour own set of numbers. If you find fish and you’re not hooking up does not mean they are not there, change baits. You should have frozen pilchards and or sardines on board for when the live bait bite is slow. Another good way to find fish is trolling a stretch 15 in 12 to 25 feet of water and a stretch 30 in 25 to 45 feet. When anchored up bring a Kingfish spinning rig and throw out a live bait for a passing Kingfish. They generally swim above the Grouper. Happy fishing and tight lines.
We are booking river and island cruises on the Magic Dolphin Island Adventure this week as well as an Island Adventures on the weekend so call and get ready for a great day in paradise. Check our website and click on the calendar for upcoming charters that are available at http://www.islandparadisecharters.com.