Offshore Fishing

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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.

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Kite Fishing for Kingfish

Florida anglers have access to a year-round fishery for these speedy predators. While there are many techniques for landing a big kingfish, one that you’ll want to have in your bag of tricks is kite fishing live baits. This method is especially productive along the edge of the reef while drifting or anchored over a wreck.

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Traveling with the Sailsmen

This winter, I was granted a unique vantage point from which to observe the decision-making process. I was on board a SeaVee center console with the Sailsmen team. The 7-man team, many of them longtime friends, were preparing for Operation Sailfish, first of a 4-leg competitive series, the Quest for the Crest. The series wraps up April 12-17 with the Final Sail event.

Father  Son, John & Patrick Murphy from Tucson Arizona. The Wahoo & dolphin were caught as a double hookup 14 miles off of Grassy key (Marathon). John And Patrick caught 27 dolphin up to 16 lbs ,most were released but a few did join them for dinner. If photo is good enough to publish I'll send them a gift subscription. Father and son team, John and Patrick Murphy, landed this wahoo and dolphin 14 miles off of Grassy Key (Marathon) near an offshore current edge.

Finding Offshore Currents and Eddies

Easy ways to find currents and eddies offshore. Tracking weather fronts has long been a big part of offshore fishing. Pretty easy, too. Just turn on the TV or check the Internet. No excuse for getting caught in a norther on your way to the marlin grounds.

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Cobia and the Rays

Most of us already know about cobia: great fighters, willing to eat most offerings and awesome tablefare. Sight-fishing is an exciting way to target them. Sometimes you’ll find free-swimming cobia, but often the fish are following large rays.

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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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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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FWC Approves Grouper Bag Limit and Season Changes

At its Feb. 10 meeting at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to the gag and black grouper minimum size limit and the gag grouper recreational season in Gulf state waters.

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Kite Fishing Tips

With winter winds right around the corner, now is a good time to refresh your kite-fishing supplies. Let’s look at a few accessories that enable us to maximize kite fishing success in varying conditions.

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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.”

Larry "Fishman" Finch giving a seminar on tips and tactics for pompano.

Fort Pierce Florida Sportsman Expo a Huge Success

With big crowds both Saturday and Sunday, it’s safe to say the Fort Pierce Florida Sportsman Expo was a success!

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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.

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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Easy Stinger Rigs

King mackerel fishermen know all about downsizing tackle to lure big fish to the bait. Smaller diameter fishing lines, lighter gauge hooks and swivels are more likely to catch the eye of a mature and educated king mackerel. Perhaps the most critical adjustment, however, is in the size of the wire bite leader.

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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.

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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.

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What to Look for Offshore

My all-time favorite surface feature, which I often look for when fishing close to an inlet, is a tide line. Tide lines are typically formed at the mouths of inlets that feed into the ocean. Here, an incoming or falling tide will have a tide line on either side of the inlet, created by the currents colliding with ocean waters.

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Fishing in Islamorada

That slim stretch of land halfway down the Keys is a stroke of geological genius for anglers. Only three miles to Islamorada’s south stands the reef, home of snapper and grouper. From there, the sea floor quickly drops off to the continental shelf.

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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.

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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.