Thanks god for grunts
Capt. Joel Gant
February 4, 2016
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Key West snapper, gray snapper, white grunt or in our area, just pain grunts. Call them what you will but ask any party headboat or charter captain and he will say "thank god for grunts". Grunts have saved many of fishing trips with plenty of these great eating fish. With closures on so many offshore species theses days, it's fun to catch and release these fish but still be able to come home with a bunch of grunts to eat. Grunts are schooling fish, generally congregating around structure of one sort or another. They are especially fond of "live rock" bottom, with its characteristic growth of soft corals and algae. Many offshore Captains even refer to this type of structure as "grunt bottom" when it appears on their sonar. Grunts will roam throughout their territory, always on the alert for an easy meal. Grunts are fairly easy to catch with just light tackle. I use a 40 series spinning reel spooled with 15 lb power pro braid line, a small weight, a 3/0 hook with cut bait like squid. They can be caught anywhere from 8 feet to 100 ft, mostly around some kind of structure. With their orange mouth and "grunting sound", it's not hard to tell when you have a grunt. There is no size or limit to the amount you can keep. Just remember to only keep what you will eat.
As the water temperature slowly starts to climb up in March, look offshore for kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia, grouper and sharks to start moving into our areas. This is probably one of the best times of year to go out and target these and many other fish. The weather is still cool, hopefully not too windy and the water says clear.
Inshore fishing is off the hook right now. The redfish, trout and snook are all in the creeks and backwaters. We have a few areas here that are spring fed, these are also great spots. Look at the beginning and end of the high tide to find these fish more active. Using artificials, like top water or jerkbaits on a light jig head will produce fish. Also use cut bait like mullet, pinfish, ladyfish or select shrimp. Very few fish will pass up these baits.
Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!
I'm always looking for reports and pictures. You can email me or stop by my website and become a "FISHHEAD".
Capt. Joel operates Fishdaddy Charters out of Hernando Beach, he knows the local waters like the back of his hand, and works both inshore and offshore trips. You can reach him at (352) 279-1615 or visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com
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