St. Pete Report By; Capt. Anthony Corcella

Nearshore Hog Dogging

With the temperature dropping in the Gulf, the hogfish will come out to play.

If you’re going to be doing this type of fishing, make sure you keep your eye on the bottom machine for small ledges. We have been fishing in about 35 feet of water somewhere around the eight-mile mark as of late. We have caught big hogfish off some of the smaller spots, so don’t overlook these.

Keep in mind that, if you’re fishing for hogs on hook and line, you will need to bring at least 20 dozen shrimp with you. There will be plenty of Key West grunts that you will have to work through before you get to the hogs. This process of getting through the grunts will take roughly 30 to 40 minutes.

The ideal set up for this type of fishing is a light spinning rod, somewhere around seven feet with 10-to-17-pound line on a 4000-size reel. I prefer a Star Rod with a Penn 4500 SSV spooled with 30-pound braid.  I like to use a knocker rig with 25-to-30-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 3/0 or 4/0 Owner hook. As for the sinker, a three-quarter ounce weight will work just fine.

I hope these tips will help next time you’re out looking for hogfish. Take these tips and get out there and fish!