The Snapper action offshore this week, like near shore, was excited by that full moon. The nighttime fishing around 1-2 days ahead of the full moon is my favorite followed by a few days behind the moon. However, fishing is just that… fishing, sometimes even if you hit it as the best time there’s other variables affecting the fish cooperating with you. The best time to go fishing is when you have the time, ability and means to do so! The big mangrove snapper around 120ft and beyond. However, this time of year I would recommend fishing as deep as you can up to around 250ft of water to try and get some behemoth mangrove snapper and some fat grouper. Anywhere from around 150-250ft on some nice ledges, peaks or rock piles will hold some nice mangrove action.
Fat red grouper are waiting for us around that deep-water area past 150ft of water. They are hungry this time of year as the weather changes, they get excited and ready to feed on those deep-water potholes and bait shows on the hard bottom.
Scamp grouper are typically deeper caught species but once you get past 150-200ft or right around it you start to have the best chance for some nice scamp grouper action. I love a small pinfish or a small vertical jig around 200-250ft on the ledges for scamp myself, but they can be tricky fish to get chewing. Around 60lb test is what I start with when targeting them because they are typically more leader shy and less aggressive than other grouper species.
Triggerfish are only open until May 2nd so get out there deep as you can from around 150-250 to get a shot at some big boy triggers. These fish love the good quality hard bottom structures. They also love to eat small pieces of squid or cut dead bait. Typically, I target them with the mangrove snapper set ups with 30-50lb leader and 5-6ot hooks.
Pelagic action is on fire offshore just like the near shore waters. However, they just seem more prolific and aggressive and larger offshore. The blackfin tuna, kingfish and sailfish are most common in that order right now, but the occasional wahoo is possible too!