Grouper Fishing the Offshore Reefs in Marco Island, FL
Capt. Lisa Williams
August 28, 2013
Marco Island - Saltwater Fishing Report
Hot weather has brought on hot fishing. And offshore Grouper fishing is no exception.
Grouper are abundant in waters as shallow as 35 ft. Gag Grouper are holding on rock piles and small coral ledges. Dropping a Pinfish is always a good option to target Gags.
Red Grouper are a little deeper with best catches in 45-60 ft. of water, and over hard bottom. Sizes have been on the small side but sifting through a few shorts will produce some tasty dinners.
Drifting over varied cover is also a favorite technique of mine. Using a 3-5 oz. Jig tipped with a rubber grub or plain. Make sure you keep the jig close to the bottom , and even bounce it off the sand every once in a while to get their attention.
Fishing with cut bait has also produced some excellent results, but remember, when targeting Grouper or any Pelagic species you MUST use circle hooks with live or cut bait , and have the proper venting tool aboard.
Amberjacks are thick further out on the offshore wrecks in 100-150 ft. of water and catching them is simple, while getting them to the boat without having them eaten by huge Barracudas is not so simple. Use high speed reels and eat your Wheaties if you want to fill the box with these critters.
Inshore fishing has also been pretty hot with lots of Trout and Flounder to be had in the deeper passes and outside cuts. Shrimp on a longshank hook need enough weight to get to the bottom with the rushing tides this month.
Snappers are everywhere. Fish for them like you would a Bass. Find protruding foliage on mangrove shorelines and throw shrimp as close as possible, Snappers are very aggressive, so plan on bringing extra shrimp to make up for the ones you lose when the Snappers steal them.
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