Inshore- Walter Murphy, from St. Pete, caught a beautiful snook at night on the outgoing tide inside Johns Pass. He was fishing from the North Jetty using live shrimp. He also reported catching lots of ladyfish as well. Joey Brown, from Seminole, was fishing the south jetty inside Johns Pass. He reported catching a handful of nice flounder on a D.O.A. shrimp worked slowly along the bottom. A gator’s employee reported seeing some nice sharks being caught off the bridge recently. He reported the anglers were using cut ladyfish for bait and were catching 3-6 foot black tips and nurse sharks. Don’s Dock reported seeing their guests catching mangroves, sheepshead and flounder around their docks. The bait of choice over at Don’s Dock is live shrimp. When the tide is moving the fish are biting in the pass, but once the tide starts to rip you have to increase your led size dramatically. Gulf to bay bait and tackle shop down on St. Pete beach reported that in the early mornings large schools of red drum are moving through blinds and pass a grille passes. They are biting the best on large shrimp reported their anglers. They had many reports of large tarpon schools moving through the passes but they haven’t been cooperating anywhere else besides Egmont key channel. Gulf to Bay also reported that their guests have been catching lots of sharks inside the intercostal. The popular species are black tips, bulls, and bonnet heads.
Near shore- Our ten hour red grouper trips have been doing well now that they are starting up again! Yesterday’s ten hour brought home over 18 keeper red grouper for our 20 anglers we had on board. They also had tons of grey snapper since the snapper bite is hot offshore due to the warm water. It was a successful action packed day compared to the couple slower days we had during those storm fronts at the end of last week. The fish seemed to have recovered nicely and so has the bite! The kingfish are starting to thin out a great deal in the near shore waters but there could still be one here and there. The mackerel seem to be biting well again however, and trolling is always a good idea even when the kings aren’t as thick because you could always land the mid-summer tuna or wahoo. We did see a beautiful wahoo on our ten hour recently but we couldn’t coax it into taking our bait!
Offshore- The 39 hour trips have been absolutely killing the mangrove snapper. They seem to be biting the bottom out of the boat! Many guys on our recent full moon 39 hour were limited out on their two-day limit in as little as 4-6 hours after the start of fishing! We also had plenty of red grouper and scamp grouper but they seem to be getting a bit more relaxed now that the water temperature has stabilized. When the water is warming offshore this always makes the grouper bite more aggressive. Amberjack are still closed till August first so we haven’t been getting many since we have been successfully avoiding them. We are still picking up the occasional kingfish as well, and even a sporadic blackfin tuna. While rally fishing for red snapper over the short season we even pulled in a sailfish on our party boat! The Mahi Mahi have started to make their appearance off our coast and were looking forward to them pushing closer to the beach, but for now they are well offshore. Hubbards Marina fishing report.
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