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It’s a good time to go after grouper

Posted Jun 23, 2012 by The Tampa Tribune

Updated Jun 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM

By BILL MILLER

Grouper fishermen are happy, because on July 1 gag grouper season will open in state and federal waters in most counties.

Gags can be found around rock ledges, wrecks and deep-water springs. Reports during the catch-and-release phase for gags indicate that there are plenty to be had during the season, which closes Oct. 31. Top live baits include pinfish, greenbacks and white bait. Dead baits like Spanish sardines, cigar minnows and squid will produce good catches and are available at most bait shops.

Red grouper and red snapper seasons are also open now. Check all the regulations at http://www.myfwc.com.

David Brown reports that snook fishing in the Indian River area is excellent. Brown, using a green DOA shrimp and wading the grass flats, landed a 38-inch linesider. During the battle, the big snook ran between and around Brown’s legs before finally being photographed and released.

Cannon’s Marina reports good tarpon fishing, before the storms, along the beach at Longboat Key. Live crabs and greenbacks have been the top baits.

Captain Chris Wiggins won the inshore division of The Bone Fishing Rodeo with a tarpon, two big redfish, two giant trout and a 4-pound flounder.

Tarpon fishing along St. Pete Beach has been red-hot, according to Maximo Marina. Live pinfish under corks have been enticing hungry schools of tarpon during the early morning hours.

Captain Billy Miller says the new moon outgoing tides at Egmont Key were great for his anglers. Hook-ups in the double digits were common each afternoon.

For more information, visit http://www.billmiller.com. To book a charter with captain Bill or his son captain Billy, call (813) 363-9927.

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