Offshore fishing has been and will continue to be great this summer in the West Central Florida area, with no signs of oil in the water or on the beaches in these parts. Monster red grouper are one of the hottest species this month, however the best action you'll find is out around 120 ft and deeper for those fire truck red grouper. Along with those champions of grouper, full of fight, we’ve been catching gag & scamp grouper, that will also leave your upper arms hurting the next day from reeling those bad boys in! We have also been getting snapper happy, catching American red, mangrove, yellowtail, & lane snapper. We’ve been finding those on the offshore reefs & wrecks, with tilefish, and mahi-mahi there also keeping that wide variety of snapper company. In those same areas, we've been catching many amberjacks, smoker kingfish, cobia, barracudas, and a myriad of large sharks lately.
We start out on Swiss cheese bottoms that range from 120-160 ft, using dead sardines and squid for best results on our red grouper trips. This combination of bait gets the red grouper’s appetite wetted, and then follow that meal up with live bait for dessert- such as pinfish, sand perch, and grunts…that's when we catch the serious monsters. Sometimes even our most fit anglers tap out, and many of the fishers on our boat need assistance or even a spotter to help get these ocean beasts off the bottom because of how much they weigh!
July and August are awesome months for deep water pelagic, especially bull dolphin. You can almost always catch schoolies 100ft out and deeper, but the bull mahi-mahi are usually farther out past 150 ft, which seems to be the hot zone of the month! We like to troll skirted bally-hoo at about 5 knots at this time of the year. Using that trolling method, you can certainly catch wahoo, billfish, and blackfin tuna... It's both exciting and intense! While trolling, I'm always watching my depth finder, and ferreting out new grouper and snapper spots… they are out there, sometimes right under your pole!
Below is Leah & Brent Brown of Bradenton with a large reef shark, caught off Anna Maria Island, using part of an amberjack that was bit in half by a barracuda attack!
As I mentioned in my last fishing report, red snapper will be out of season as of July 23, in state and Federal waters, so the clock is ticking & days dwindling when you’ll be able to catch these snapperlicious treats. Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of liquids, because that summer heat can catch you off guard & stop your fishing fun or other summer activities. Par for the course, it’s a hot summer, with offshore fishing being even hotter! So now is the time for you to come out and get ya' some, while the action is happening & the snapper can still be caught!
Capt. Larry McGuire
Show Me The Fish Charters
Located at the Cortez Fishing Center, Bradenton, FL
cell: (941) 720 - 6475 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org