Pro Insider – Regulations to hinder bottom fishing

Bottom fishing this month will be difficult due to the regulations closing many of the most popular species. Gag and red grouper, red snapper and amberjack are closed until the new year. But not everything is closed to harvest. On a trip well offshore we found a feeding frenzy of 20- to 25-pound blackfin tuna. Anchoring up and live chumming kept the fish schooling around the boat. Mangrove snapper fishing in 80-120 feet is still strong. We anchored over breaks and chummed with sardine chunks. Rigs were simple: 20- to 25-pound fluorocarbon leader connected to a quarter-ounce jig head.

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

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