Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report with Captain Toney: Hints to get your Gag Grouper
As we are getting closer to the premature gag grouper closedown on the 18th of October, here are a few tips for inshore anglers to bring one home.
If you have a decent shallow rock try chumming with live pinfish, cut frozen threadfin, or shrimp before casting out a line. I have drifted silently to some of my spots and watched grouper up to 25 yards away from the structure laying in wait for some meal to present itself.
During the summer when fishing for mangrove snapper, the best part of the bite is when the grouper come to crash the party. So chumming and fishing for grunts can make a keeper gag grouper competitive for food and they will let their guard down enough to be caught. A live pinfish, cut mullet, or a grunt head on a conventional rod with 30 lb. mono and 60 lb. leader with a knocker rig is best to pull a keeper fish away from the rocks.
Another method to catch shallow gag grouper is with a plug. This is far from the easiest way to catch one but it is probably the most rewarding. I like plugs that run 8 feet or less depending on how fast you retrieve them. Ideally, you need to cast just right or left of the structure and make the fish chase the plug. When the fish chases the plug, it’s that much further from the rock, and in shallow water that can mean a busted line or fish in the boat.
The redfish bite is good. I’ve got most of mine on cut pinfish on the outside keys. Look for big sharks because they are following the schools of redfish. When the sharks home in on the caught redfish it’s
best to move on after you have your limit. The trout bite with popping cork and dark-colored soft plastic is good on our larger bays. Look for rock grass and set up a drift with the outgoing tide for the best
Incoming tide will be in the afternoon this weekend.
Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report from Captain William Toney
To schedule a fishing charter or shore lunch excursion with Captain Toney, visit his website. A third-generation fishing guide in the Homosassa area, a member of the Homosassa Guides Association, and author of the Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report each week in NatureCoaster.com.
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