Hogfish bite is super hot right now, especially around 40-70ft of water we are seeing the hogfish chewing well. They take a bit to get dialed in on but once you find their areas they are really loving the live shrimp! Lighter tackle approaches work well especially with a minimal weight like a ¾-1oz weight and a 3-4ot hook with around 30lb floro leaders. I like to use a spinning rod and reel with around a 4000-5000 series reel and around 20lb braided line with that 30lb leader super long to ensure these guys have no shot at seeing your braid anywhere near your bait. These guys love hanging around adjacent to the harder bottom areas. Small ledges, rock piles, or flat hard bottom with lots of relief seems to work best to keep those hogfish around. Right now the ‘secret’ weapon has been our use of 8mm red beads on our knocker rigs. So we use the methods described above to make a knocker rig style set up but between the weight and hook we ad around 4-5 of these 8mm red beads. Seems pretty silly and goes against my minimalist approach to hog fishing but we cannot deny it’s results as of late. This is the Hubbard’s Marina specialty hogfish set up right now when were not using our Nekid Ball Jigz to get them chewing.
Besides the hogfish, right now we are seeing some nice snapper action especially a little deeper around 60-100ft of water the lane snapper are biting well and seem to be fairly prolific. Along with the lanes we are seeing the occasional big mangrove snapper too mixed in. Plus, the vermillion snapper seem to always be ready to cooperate around the deeper depths.
We are seeing handfuls of red grouper on our near shore adventures right now too, especially on the squid strips, pinfish or the threadfins with a tail cut. These guys are definitely not super common, but they are a nice bonus when we are out targeting the hogfish or mangrove snapper.