Offshore Fishing How To

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Live Bait Trolling (Bump Trolling)

Florida Sportsman’s Rick Ryals gives advice on how-to most effectively slow troll live baits while offshore fishing. It’s important to note that trolling live bait is not the same as trolling dead baits and lures. Live baits would quickly die if pulled at similar speeds. Not to mention, look very unnatural.


Homemade Eel Lures

A lure with a strong silhouette—I like black best—that’s got some wiggling action and can be made in a variety of sizes is ideal. A cost-effective, homeboy customized “eel” made from a bicycle inner tube is a great rig.

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Planers for Wahoo

In the clear Gulf Stream water that sweeps along the coast of South Florida, wahoo aficionados use the scaled-down planer method to entice more strikes than they might otherwise get with the heavy lures and steel cable leaders used in high-speed trolling.


Finding the Blue Water

The Gulf of Mexico is a hard place to fish offshore. You have to travel upwards of a hundred miles to get to 100 fathoms, if you live in the Big Bend or south towards the Tampa area. The Panhandle, you are a lot closer to the deep water, but also a lot closer to that huge muddy river to the west.


Using Scented Soft Plastics Offshore

In this FS Seminar, Rick Ryals shows us that heading offshore for tasty bottom creatures doesn’t always require picking up frozen baits or stopping to throw the net or sabiki rig, it can be as easy as grabbing a pack of scented soft plastic lures.


Choosing the Right Hook

In this FS Seminar, Rick Ryals tells us what the most important things are to consider when selecting the right hook for the job. Ryals explains which hooks are best for live bait and dead baits, and the key differences and advantages of using j-hooks and circle hooks.


Bait Trays Rigged and Ready

Keeping trolling baits fresh and durable is essential; bait trays make it a cinch. Bait trays are available in a variety of materials, as well as shapes and sizes specific to different cooler brands and dimensions.


Organize Your Hooks

One of the keys to successful live bait fishing is matching the size and style hook to the bait you fish. Regardless of whether you catch or buy your bait, baits vary in size from trip to trip. That’s why we’ve developed a hook box system so that we are always prepared to find the right hook for the bait at hand and the species of fish that we are targeting.


Wind-on Swivels

There is one time where we always include a swivel in our wind-on leader system: when we are chunking dead bait for yellowfin tuna. Unlike all of the other wind-on leader applications such as trolling and live baiting, retrieving chunked dead bait can cause severe twist in your main line and leader. To help reduce line twist, we connect the wind-on leader to the main line with a high quality barrel swivel.


Nighttime Swordfishing Rigs

In the FS Seminar, Florida Sportsman editor Jeff Weakley joins Harry Schafer at Grand Slam Tackle & Marine Supply. Weakley and Schafer go over some basic rigging for catching swordfish at night.


Save That Kite!

Fishing kites withstand a lot of abuse, but over time components may fail. Even the most experienced kite fisherman occasionally dunks a kite, and now and then a strut, string or crosspiece breaks. At least for recovered kites, there’s a good chance it will fly again. Torn ones won’t, but can be kept for parts. Here are some ways to save your kites.

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Best Rigs for Bottom Fishing

When thinking of bottom fishing, most imagine a cooler full of fish and a hot meal on the table. What about the days you can’t convince a keeper to eat? Fishing with the right rig can make all the difference.


Live Bait Rigging Methods

The way a live bait is rigged when trolling can make a world of a difference when it comes to the way the bait swims through the water. Florida Sportsman’s Rick Ryals explains a few simple techniques that will get your bait swimming the right way, depending on they type of fishing you want to do.


Comfort Offshore Starts with Dry Feet

Modern deck boots enhance safety and comfort. Dry feet are a hot commodity on a fishing deck awash in chilly water. Ask any seasoned bluewater fisherman or mate.


Rigging a Live Bait

There is a long list of great baits found throughout Florida. One thing that can stump many anglers after catching your favorite game fish candy is, how to rig it?

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Preserving Soft Baits

Companies like Berkley Gulp! often sell scented baits in a tub of scented “juice” that marinates the baits while not in use. Florida Sportsman’s Rick Ryals explains how these tubs of the “magical juice” can be utilized to preserve and give old baits a scent that fish can’t resist.