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  1. August is just Plain Hot! Perfect for half and ¾ day runs to beat the heat and beat the storms. Most of our trips this time of year are 6 or 8 hours which allow us bottom fish for a few hours for your snapper and grouper species and finish off with amberjacks since the opener is August 1. Recently we had the Shelton crew aboard The Just Kickin Back, for a Half Day 6 Hour. Plan was to meet at the dock at 8 and push out. The crew being on vacation from Tennessee wanted some meat to take home and to get something pulling some drag. We started the trip in 40’ catching bait this time of the year is easy mark them on shallow hard bottom and use a sabiki rig tipped with squid . Second Stop was 75’ fishing hard bottom. With the crew Using Florida Fishing Products Osprey 4000 reels using a knocker rig with one ounce weight, 25lb test fluorocarbon and a #2 circle, Were pulling up Lane Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, Key West Grunts and Porgys faster than I could keep Up. After a solid box we moved off a little deeper to some hard bottom in 80’ looking for some grouper, Seemed that day every Red Grouper was 19 7/8” but we managed to pull and few keepers out along with some more snapper. Since the chores were done and we had meat for the freezer, we moved to a set of ledges in 85’ that hold some smaller Aj’s in the 30-45” range. Once we anchored and started chumming live white bait behind the boat. It didn’t take long at all for the Aj’s to surface and pop at baits on the surface. When setting up to fish like this I like using my 8’ star rods matched with Fin Nor 7500 Offshore Series rods Spooled with braid. Tie the knot of your choice from braid to 40-60lb fluorocarbon ending with a ½ oz jig head. I don’t really care about the weight as much as I care about the hook Strength as you never really know whats going to eat your bait in the chum, be prepared for a cobia, grouper, or tuna. Free line a live pinfish down into the school of jacks and hold on! They wont pass up a pinfish most days. Federal Amberjack Season is a Tricky one never knowing when they will open or close the season. Seems like its something they are still trying to figure out. Book sooner than later is you want to get out and catch some of these fish for the grill. Just Kickin’ Back Charters/ Captain Philip Watson, Offshore Fishing Charter Anna Maria Island Florida 941-226-1100 www.facebook.com/justfishfl http://www.justfishfl.com
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