Offshore Fishing

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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.

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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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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Fishing Shrimp Offshore

Live shrimp is one of the most familiar baits for inshore fishing. But shrimp have a lot of utility in the offshore waters, too.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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Destin Red Snapper Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: mahiwahi Several casts in I hooked a fish and it went flying into the air. I thought I had foul hooked a bonita but my friend yelled “it’s a dolphin”. Since it’s January I was in disbelief but as it got closer and I saw yellow I knew he was right.

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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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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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Starting the Season Right

Florida Sportsman Member: KayakMacGyver The next spot had an absolute incredible show of fish on the bottom. As quick as we could get a bait to the bottom, our rods were getting doubled over. HUGE sow snapper, one after the other. In between the snapper, we caught a few red grouper and a healthy stock of sea bass.

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Mexico Beach Mixed Bag

Their idea of a “high-rise?” Fish condos in 60 feet of water. Gotta love this Gulf Coast town.

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Mangrove Snapper Topside

An often fast-paced and highly visual pursuit, snaring mangroves within a rod length of the transom defines “cool,” but it’s also practically advantageous. Normally, when a guy tells me my fishing day will involve glass minnows and pompano jigs, I assume we’re talking flats and beaches.

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Luna Sea Leader-Mate

Just wrap your rigs — monofilament, fluorocarbon, even wire — around LEADER-MATE, then store your sinkers,divers/planners,hooks or other terminal tackle in LEADER-MATE’s innovative and patented pockets, and you’re ready to go.

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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.