Offshore Fishing

choosingtherighthook

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.

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Trolling Hard Plastics for Pelagics

During this FS Seminar, Rick Ryals ventures 60 miles offshore of Jacksonville Beach in search of fast-moving pelagics. Bruiser blackfin tuna, wahoo, and dolphin gobbled hard-plastic lipped diving plugs, in favor of natural presentations.

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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.

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Bunker Busters

No fish in the sea is immune to the lure of fresh menhaden. If menhaden ranged throughout Florida, I’m convinced they would top every angler’s list of best baits. These fish are oily, reflective and loaded with energy. From the backwaters to the beaches, they’re a top menu item for a huge variety of gamefish, from seatrout to sailfish.

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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.

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Southern Kingfish Association Shutting Down

The biggest local fishing tournament needs to find new accreditation. The Southern Kingfish Association says it’s dissolving because of the…»

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Sailfish North

Leaving the narrow corridor of South Florida reef, anglers find surprising concentrations of sailfish to the state line and beyond. Fifty miles off St. Augustine, we were trolling in dark, green water, praying for a stray bite. I’d spent the day in a heavy jacket, trying to salvage my trip by trolling up and down the 28 fathom ledge.

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Live Baiting for Kingfish

Catching smoker kingfish in the Florida Keys is a blast with these simple techniques. I used to cringe whenever someone bragged about catching smoker kingfish in the 30- to 40-pound class.

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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.

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Gulf Grouper Action on the Drift

Florida Sportsman Member: Doc1 A couple of buds and I ran out of Marco about 20 miles this morning. The bite was slow, but steady. We picked up 4 keepers over the 4 hours we fished. The largest was about 24 inches and was caught on a live blue runner.

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Florida Daytime Swordfish

We tell you exactly how to catch a huge Florida swordfish during the day. “There was talk the only way to catch them was to do it at night when thefish were closer to the surface feeding,” said Taute, smiling. “That’s not true any longer.”

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Gulf Grouper Recreational Season Will Not Close Feb. 1

This is a reminder that the Feb. 1 through March 31 closure that would have affected several species of grouper in Gulf state waters has been removed and will not occur as it has in previous years. This closure was removed at the September 2013 meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

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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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Help Stop Unnecessary Bluefin Tuna Mortality

For almost a century, bluefin tuna have been one of the most important big-game species sought by recreational fishermen. However, the development of a lucrative commercial industry, largely catering to the demand for sushi in Japan, has contributed to significant declines of this now-threatened species.

Mike Harris, far left, hoists a 46-pound kingfish caught this week by anglers aboard the Miami charterboat Free Spool Too.

Big Kings Showing off Miami

Quick update on the light tackle kingfish bite off Miami, from Capt. Dennis Forgione of the Free Spool Too. Forgione is interviewed in the January 2014 issue of Florida Sportsman, in the how-to article “Returning to the Light.”

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A Great Year

Forum member Jupiter Double D’s Put together the best of 2013. With many nice fish caught, it looks like it…»

Slick calm days are fewer than in summer, but the average fish is bigger. This one's 130 pounds, taken by the Three Buoys crew off Palm Beach County.

Warming Up to Winter Swordfish

Many of the largest swordfish of the year are caught as they migrate through our waters in winter. Each year as the weather turns cold, Florida east coast anglers begin targeting sailfish as they migrate south with each passing cold front. When chasing sailfish, the best fishing usually occurs on the leading edge of the cold front when the wind is blowing the hardest and the seas are rough.

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Top Shot

Monofilament is great stuff for trolling. Its elasticity gives valuable shock resistance to help keep the hook from pulling under the surging of a big marlin or other fish.

share the gulf

‘Share’ Campaign Smells Fishy

First, a terrific idea: Future increases in red snapper allowable catch in the Gulf of Mexico would be dedicated in greatest proportion to recreational anglers, helping ensure a longer fishing season for the general public.

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Marlin Jumps In, Man Jumps Out

Big game fishing for marlin is something that will always get anglers blood pumping, but when these big pelagic species decide to join the party in the boat things can get a little dangerous.