Summertime Targets! Offshore Report St Petersburg FL July 20th

cramer8164cramer8164 Posts: 5 Greenhorn
This Summer has been outstanding for bottom fishing. Having a 40 day season to hunt down red snapper was great but now we find ourselves asking the question "What do we target?", With soaring temperatures and water that is hot as a bathtub that is not an easy decision.
Lets start with 20 (ish) miles off and closer which around here is roughly 60 -75 foot of water:
We love to target Lane snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Big Porgies and occasional Yellow Tail Snapper. One technique that we employ is chunking and chumming while snapper fishing. Cut sardines into thirds and make sure you are anchored, deploy your chum bag and start chunking the dines into the slick, this is definitely important to bring the snapper out to play. We start with Hi-lo rigs (chicken rigs) 5/0 hooks on 40lb flouro leader and work our way down(leader size) until the bite turns on. Jig heads are also very effective for Yellow Tail, slowly work the jig head to the bottom holding at various points through the water column until you find the bite. Shrimp, squid and cut sardines are all great choices for bait.

Now into the Blue... 30 miles off and further
   This is where things get interesting, 90 foot of water or deeper things start to really heat up out there! Being prepared is the most important thing you can do. A rule of thumb that I like to follow is to make sure you have 3 rods rigged and ready

1 for casting , I like to keep a wax wing or buck tail tied on just in case we see some surface activity

1 medium action rod and reel combo for snapper and similar species, I rig this with 40-50 lb flouro leader on either a Knocker Rig or Hi lo rig and a 5/0 hook 

1 heavy conventional setup, I set this up with 60 lb or better flouro leader 7/0 hook on a carolina rig aka a fish finder rig

Right now we are finding Red Grouper, Scamp and Mangrove Snapper anywhere from 90-150 foot of water. Pin fish and white bait are almost a necessity out here. We are also seeing alot of blackfin tuna this year compared to last and also seeing some rouge summer time kingfish, that is why the pitch bait is important. They will pop up randomly but will spook easy so do your best to be stealthy.

Feel free to ad your own input or ask me any questions, I would be glad to help in any way! Check out my daily fishing activity on Instagram @fishn.Junkie 

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