When you talk about offshore fishing the west coast of Florida, you are talking about offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico has a wide array of offshore species to target. However, these species are located in many different locations and distances depending on your launch point.
In the central west coast of Florida, you will find that offshore fishing the Homosassa area can bring you into the zone for specific big game. Namely, big grouper and big red snapper. But while here, you will also get shots at cobia, kingfish, amberjacks, and hogfish – to name just a few.
As you start wrapping around the state north, you will find the addition of wahoo and some billfish opportunities, and that action extends all the way to the Texas fishery.
Headed south from that point, you run into offshore fishing in places like Tampa and Naples. These areas bring the addition of wreck fishing for species like Permit. Florida offshore fishing is so popular that even the kayak anglers here get into it. This is true from Pensacola Beach all the way around to the other coast in Pomapno.
So, whats the most popular Offshore Fishing in the West Coast of Florida? The middle grounds.
“The Middle Grounds is located in the northern Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles offshore. This popular fishing area has an average depth of 90 to 200 feet. You need heavy tackle to bring in the large Mangrove Snapper, 50 lb Gag & Black Grouper, 16″ Vermilion Snapper, and large Amberjack.
Most fish caught here tend to be large adults including Grouper, Amberjack, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Hog Snapper, Cubera Snapper, King Mackerel, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Cobia, Tilefish, Porgies, and Triggerfish. Large live Pinfish is the bait of choice in the Middle Grounds, especially if you want to catch a large Gag Grouper. There are long range overnight trips on chart boats that offer great fishing in the Middle Grounds if you don’t have a very large boat to get there.” Source