Fishing action offshore has been very good!
Capt. Dave Pinkham
December 31, 2009
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report
Considering the cool weather, fishing action offshore has been red hot! To top it off, this month will be a great time for fishing offshore. Greater amberjack season is now re-opened with recreational anglers allowed one each. Also grouper season is still open through the end of January, so if you want to take home some grouper filets, this is the month to do it. The daily limit on red grouper has been increased to 2 per person, and the same goes for gags which if the fish are biting allows each angler to keep a total of 4 grouper.
Gag grouper action is decent inside of 15 miles and this trend should continue through the winter months. This time of the year the gag grouper are hungry so both live and cut bait will produce plenty if action.
Red grouper, at least keeper sized reds are usually caught out a little deeper. Calm days are ideal for drift fishing across a large coral pot-hole type of bottom. The great thing about fishing for red grouper is that you really don't need some unbelievable secret fishing hole to catch them. Red grouper can generally be found scattered across any sort of relatively flat hard bottom. Once you get offshore about 20 miles any sort of fish shows on your fish finder is worth dropping some lines down to the bottom and starting a drift. Stay with this plan and I'll guarantee you'll catch some red grouper.
Mangrove snapper will be hanging out on the same bottom as gag grouper. When targeting mangrove snapper it's a good idea to use a lighter rod. I prefer a 20 to 30-pound rig. Snapper often will hit just about any natural bait when they are hungry. Although mangrove are the most commonly caught snapper for this area, with the cooler water temperatures look to catch others species such as mutton, yellow tail, lane, and vermilion.
Greater amberjack season just re-opened with the New Year. Best areas to catch them will be around the offshore wrecks in the 100 to 150-foot deep range. These big bruisers will make a believer out of anyone that's looking for a real battle. Live bait fish and or rapidly retrieved jigs or lures will get them fired up and feeding.
Well, good luck, good fishing, and I hope you all have a Happy New Year!
Remember if you're too busy to fishing you're just too busy. Get out and go fishin cuz' it's good fer ya!
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