The current on the full moon created some issues when we were in the Deepwater trying to catch our amberjacks Wednesday, but luckily with an adjustment into shallower waters we were able to continue red grouper hunting with great success. The start of the trip the current was not too bad out deep luckily and it allowed us to fish through the night catching plenty of big mangrove snapper, vermillion snapper, yellowtail snapper and almaco jacks! During the day, the snapper bite did not quit and once we moved into around 110-140ft of water the red grouper action kicked in for us nicely!
The red grouper action is definitely best right now a little more shallow in this 100-140ft range offshore. They love the big dead baits or frisky live baits like the pinfish or grunts. My favorite dead baits for them is cut strips of squid or bonita and especially octopus, but a big threadfin will work too. Around 60lb leader and about a 7ot hook works well with a medium gear ratio reel with around 30-35lbs of drag.
The snapper bite around the full moon was particularly good especially at night with nearly all our local snapper species ready to eat all night long. The daytime action was a bit slower, but we were blessed with some good fishing even through the day time period. Snapper were loving cut threadfin plugs on the double snell rigs with high gear ratio reels and around 40lb test leaders.
We even caught a nice cubera snapper that weighed in around 45lbs and a big African pompano when we targeted the amberjacks around sunrise in about 160-200ft of water on some big structure. If the current wasn’t so bad, I feel we would have pulled many more jacks out of the deep water but with heavy current making fishing difficult we didn’t get as many amberjack on this trip as we would have liked. We are hoping this weekend’s 44 hour full moon trip has a little better luck with that heavy current.