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Catching Mutton Snappers offshore Southeast Florida

We are catching some nice full grown Sailfish and nice fat Kings offshore of Ft. Lauderdale. And that wind continues to blow. Grey Tile fishing in 400 feet has been very strong on days of light current. But we want to touch base on another bottom fish we have been catching and that is the Mutton Snapper.
Often when we are fishing with the kites and the live baits we set a rod right on the bottom for Grouper or Mutton Snapper. As we float along watching those kite baits kicking on the surface we also pay a lot of attention to that deepest line. Smaller fish can quickly pick it clean and it must be frequently checked. We fish a long leader measuring from 15 to 30 feet of light monofilament and just enough weight to hold the bottom. When kite fishing that bottom line gets a live frisky pilchard or what we call a ?plug? of Bally Hoo threaded onto a thin wire circle hook. Sometimes we use a freshly cut elongated chunk of something fresh and firm. Other than the Bally Hoo plug we use the same rig when targeting Muttons around wrecks. Muttons are opportunistic and will readily range off of the wrecks, so we catch a lot of them a bit off the structure. These are great fish to catch as they are powerful and determined in the fight and always all eyes are looking down and waiting for that tell tale pick color to appear as a fish comes into view and is brought to the surface. Pictured is young Chance with a husky Ft. Lauderdale Mutton Snapper that came off a shallow water wreck to eat a live pilchard.

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