Time for Red Snapper

By: Capt. Philip Watson

These tasty fish can be found on a variety of types of bottom. I like to start looking for these in no less than 140’ and deeper. You definitely can catch them shallower, but I like to bypass the small fish and get right to the numbers. On your bottom machine look for the big shows of fish especially with fish suspended in the water column. For bait, cigar minnows are by far my favorite, but sometimes they can be rather hard to come by so Pinfish and whitebaits are second best in my book.

The moon phases in the summertime can really affect your success in this fishery. Both the full and new moon create very strong currents out deep that can likely make you use a ton of lead just to get to the bottom which in turn can make it harder to feel the bite, especially if the fish have been up all night on the full moon feeding.

This Month’s highlighted trip was with the Kurtis crew on their annual trip. This year, red grouper was the main target on our hit list, so we pushed off the dock and headed to 110’. Once anchored we lost a couple nice fish right off the bat, BIG red grouper. After regrouping and tying a few new knots we were able to finally get a couple of fish in the boat. The bite really slowed a bit which caused me to make quite a few moves around, but finally I found the stack of fish I was looking for. Every bait dropped for the next 30 minutes got crushed, between the landed fish and the break offs we had complete controlled chaos on the boat, but we got our limit!

After the grouper slay session, we bounced over to a shipwreck and started to live chum amberjack and barracudas. We had many hooked to the ajs but got out gunned every time and were still able to land a few cudas throwing the cuda tube. On the last bait we pitched out a dusky shark cut right in front of amberjack and inhaled our bait. Game on! We pulled the trolling motor and fought/followed the fish for close to 30 minutes before we could get it boat side for a few photos. Awesome trip!!

Just Kickin Back Charters

Captain Philip Watson

Anna Maria Island, FL