This past week we had a couple days we were able to get offshore. The wind laid down and the ocean was no more than a nice swell. The water is still really dirty from all the rain and it will be a while before it clears up. The fish didn't seem to mind, so the rods stayed bent pretty well.
We have had some strange varieties offshore which is a strong indicator the ocean has been shaken very hard from the recent storms. Out to 22 miles, Red Snapper has been very plentiful. We've also seen several Lane Snapper and Mutton Snapper which aren’t that common inside 30 miles. The Black Sea Bass hasn't shown up yet in any real numbers… we need cooler weather to drop the water temps.
Once the water temp begins to fall, the Black Sea Bass will begin their migration our way. Remember the bag limit in Black Sea Bass was raised recently to 7 fish per person - 13 inches total length.
Some of the stranger species we've caught up to 22 miles offshore have been slot Redfish, Ladyfish, small Jack Crevalle, and even a Croaker. The ocean is definitely in disarray when you see those species that far out.
Deepwater, outside 40 miles is paying off well with Vermilion Snapper, Red Porgy, Triggerfish, some Grouper, and some Amberjack. Trolling has been yielding some Wahoo and a few Blackfin Tuna. We still haven't heard any updates on whether NOAA plans to open Red Snapper season yet, so we continue to wait for that info.
The best thing going offshore right now is fishing natural bottom and ledges for Black Bass, Vermilion Snapper, and an occasional Grouper.
Captain Chad Starling