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Captain's Corner

Managing time on the water is very important in having a successful day. Organizing an offshore fishing trip requires a lot of planning and preparation.

By STEVE PAPEN
Published May 8, 2007


Managing time on the water is very important in having a successful day. Organizing an offshore fishing trip requires a lot of planning and preparation.

Weather: All information on the Internet and weather channels should be considered, along with the forecast on your vessels marine radio, before a trip.

Location: Areas where you plan to spend your day should be studied, and the order in which these spots are fished should be written down to prevent backtracking.

Supplies: All fuel, bait and ice should be purchased the day before a trip, and any live baits should be in a holding pen and ready to go.

Tackle: Having an assortment of tackle, and having different rigs in the tackle box, may give an advantage in landing a non-target species. I can't count how many times a large cobia or dolphin (mahi mahi) swam right up to the boat while we were bottom fishing and I had no rod rigged to catch them. Having some wire rigs and heavier mono rigs attached to waiting rods would have made the day in many cases.

Fishing offshore in this area for grouper and snapper requires long runs to the fishing grounds. These tips should help save time in the morning and just might give you time to fish one or two more spots during the day, and more than likely catch a few more fish on your trip.