How has your holiday season treated you in regard to fishing? Did Santa stuff your stocking with grouper galore? Well, if not, you're not fishing with the right people or in the right places!
December is Captain Larry's favorite month to catch grouper, especially gags. So far this month the weather has not been the welcoming, pleasant weather Florida is known for; it's been windy, with some record cold temperatures earlier in Dec. As of the writing of this, Capt. Larry has still managed to fish offshore once this week, which isn't optimal, but certainly better than no fishing at all offshore! There was a window of opportunity in between cold fronts, and despite the weather, he was rewarded with a fantastic trip. Captain Larry got the present from the sea of a limit catch of gag grouper, along with some black grouper, a few festive red grouper thrown in, and many delicious snapper to make it well rounded.Live pinfish and grunts has been the best bait Capt. Larry has used, but frozen sardines and cut bait also have had awesome results. On every spot we fished from 40 ft out to 80 ft offshore of Anna Maria Island, the fishing party caught plenty of keeper grouper. On most of these areas, the serious anglers got hit by some freight trains of monster grouper that ran them down in the rocks, and physically abused these guys, resulting in a broken line! Capt. Larry calls it "taking them to school" or "rocking them up." And no matter how big or bad you are, a large gag grouper will rock you like a hurricane!
Further offshore past 100 ft, there are a whole posse of big amberjacks on the wrecks and springs, just waiting for a fight (are you up for it?), along with much larger mangrove snappers & the possibility of cobias, or black fin tuna showing up to crash the party. Above is Rob Brady from Bradenton, Fl with a flag yellowtail snapper he caught using a sardine in about 120 ft offshore of Anna Maria Island. Rob caught this while taking a break from his tackle shop called "Reel Tackle" at the Red Barn Flea market, and caught more than just this flag yellowtail-- more snappers, amberjack, and red grouper.
This time of year you have to be ready to fish whenever possible, in between these cold fronts, and you will most definitely be rewarded with a very Merry Christmas!
Capt Larry McGuire
Show Me The Fish Charters
Cell: 941-720-6475 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating out of the Cortez Fishing Center, Bradenton, FL