Again, this week the big story near shore is the great hogfish action we are seeing as of late near shore. Anywhere from around 40-70ft of water we are seeing plenty of hogfish action on the live shrimp or even pieces of fresh dead shrimp that we take near shore when bottom fishing for these hogfish. Keep in mind they are a wrasse not a snapper. This means they tend to be up off the bottom cruising looking for prey on the bottom. We typically catch the hogfish when your bait is very close to or resting on the bottom. However, we always use lighter tackle and lighter weights so that they have a chance to bite our bait and get hooked well before you even get set up to fish for that stop. These guys are super great eating but challenging to catch fish. If you want a chance at catching one right now seems to be the best time to get em on a nekid ball jig or jig head or even a knocker rig. If you are using the knocker rig method, don’t forget to include around 4-5 of the 8mm red beads in between and around your 1oz egg sinker and that 3-4ot hook.
While targeting the hogfish we are seeing some decent numbers of lane snapper and mangrove snapper too. While these guys are mainly a bycatch of our hogfishing endeavors they are great eating fihs too if you get frustrated with the hogs and wanted to fila a stringer near shore around 60-100ft of water is where we are seeing these guys best.
Red grouper bite seems to be a little better than normal right now, but still nothing to write home about they are deeper like the lanes and mangroves but hard to pass those hogfish to head out deeper for these guys. You can still get the hogfish out deeper they are just even more challenging.