Gag Grouper & Scallops
Capt. Joel Gant
July 10, 2015
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Gag Grouper & Scallops
Finally fishing fanatics, what we've all been waiting for. The gag grouper and scallop season is open. Let's start with the gags. Right now the season for these hard fighting brutes is July 1st to December 3rd. The minimum size is 22 inches and you may keep 2 per person. There is a rumor this may change so always check the regulations. Some great tactics for catching grouper: the most popular is to bottom drop. Look for bottom with structure, either rocks, reefs or swiss cheese bottom. It's important to anchor as close to your spot as possible, some people like to use a marker jug. Grouper don't usually move far from their security so anchoring is important. Once I get set up, I like to cut up a few frozen thread fins and chum up the fish. I also like to start catching grunts with lighter tackle. Once you get the grunts feeding, the gags will come out to see what the commotion is. Action creates action. At this point I'll drop a frozen thread fin, sardine, cut bait or a live pinfish to the bottom. Use stout equipment, I like a set up with at least 60 lb mono and at least a 7/0 circle hook with the lightest weight to keep the bait on the bottom. Once you get a hard bite, reel fast to keep the fish from "rocking" you up. As soon as a grouper takes the bait he will run for his security which is usually under a rock. Another tactic I love is to troll for the grouper. I know a lot of you are saying troll? Yes troll, I like to put out a couple lip plugs and troll them around any structure bottom. Make sure your drag isn't too tight and be ready, they will hit like they're trying to steal it.
Scallop season is in full swing and is a great time to get out with the family. If you're looking for a good place to start in our area, just head north and look for the boats. There will be a lot of boats out especially on the weekends. Always be careful when moving into these areas of boats and keep an eye out for swimmers. When leaving an area, idle out before getting on a plane, it can take only a second to ruin yours and someone else's life. Also remember to put up a diver down flag and bring it down when you move the boat (it's the law). The regulations for scalloping are: 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell, or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person. Maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. The season is from June 27th to Sept 24th. Again make sure you have all safety gear up to date and a saltwater fishing license for each person. FWC is out and you more than likely will be checked. If you want more information on scalloping, please give me a call and I can give you more information on them or take you out for a great day you won't forget.
Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!
Capt. Joel Gant 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. Check him out on face book or you can reach him at (352) 279-1615. Visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com
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