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John's Pass Fishing Report: Lots of Weather Keeps Offshore Action Light

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On: Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 10:05AM | By: Captain Mark Hubbard

Our recent 63-hour deep-drop pelagic trip produced this sailfish

Inshore- Patrick McQuiston from Tierra Verde was fishing Pass-a-Grille Pass using live pinfish catching small gag grouper along the rocks, and even a beautiful snook on an incoming tide close to sundown. Don’s Dock reports redfish, sheepshead, and mangrove snapper coming up on their dock inside John’s Pass while guests were using shrimp for bait. Gulf to bay bait and tackle shop says their guests reported catching some monster black drum inside Blind’s Pass. They also report hearing about large school of red fish being found around Fort De Soto park. Gulf To Bay Bait and Tackle guests also report the mackerel seem to have dissipated inshore and along the beaches, but they are catching plenty of mangrove snapper along the structure. Gator Jim’s Bait and Tackle in Dolphin Landings reports big gator trout being caught in Pass-a-Grille. They also talked about snook and flounder being caught in the swash channels running parallel to the beaches, even with the dirty water. Snook are biting well inside John’s Pass too on live pinfish. We are getting them most often early morning or at night while the water is moving or just when it starts moving. 

Near shore- The gag grouper are moving in closer to shore. We are starting to see them in the 50-60 foot range. The red grouper bite is softer now, but they are still biting in the deeper near-shore waters around 70-90 feet of water. Grey snapper and hogfish are still coming up on the half-days fairly regularly when we could get through the weather to fish for them near shore. The hogfish are biting the live shrimp exclusively. The waters near shore are surprisingly clear for the amount of rain and weather we have been having, which is a great thing to keep near-shore fish biting strong.

Offshore- Unfortunately not many people have made it past the twenty-mile mark lately. This is the dividing line we use for near shore versus offshore. We were supposed to have a 39-hour this past weekend but the severe storms, high winds, and rough seas prevented us from heading out on this long-range fishing adventure. Captain Bobby Carter, a Madeira Beach commercial captain, came back recently with a beautiful catch of gag grouper, scamp grouper, and red grouper. He reported 70% color to his catch which means besides the red grouper 70% of his catch was primarily gags and scamp. The commercial guys are mostly fishing 300-350 feet west of the grounds and elbow.

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