Captain’s Corner: Grouper and a thermocline

What’s hot: Divers reported a dramatic thermocline in 120 feet and deeper. We confirmed it this week during a trip to 130-150 feet. Grouper, while larger than the fish we caught in shallower water, were slow to take bait. The ones we caught were 15-18 pounds, and most chose large live baits over frozen baits or jigs.

Others: Amberjack didn’t seem affected by cooler water below. Fish, many 35-50 pounds, drilled live baits and jigs. The fish we’ve been catching have been over natural bottoms rather than wrecks or springs at the same depth.

What’s next:¬†Cold fronts should make their way into the gulf soon, and the king mackerel migration will follow. There are reports of fish being caught, so make sure a flat line is behind the boat on every outing for the next few months.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.

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