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Captain's Corner

What's hot: Fishing offshore in July and August usually means long runs, flat seas and big fish. Gulf temperatures in the mid to upper 80s offshore in depths of 150 feet or more will attract plenty of wahoo, dorado and blackfin tuna. There are many different techniques used to catch these fish.

By STEVE PAPEN
Published July 25, 2007


What's hot: Fishing offshore in July and August usually means long runs, flat seas and big fish. Gulf temperatures in the mid to upper 80s offshore in depths of 150 feet or more will attract plenty of wahoo, dorado and blackfin tuna. There are many different techniques used to catch these fish.

Tactics: Trolling live or artificial bait around high-profile areas such as wrecks, large ledges or pentacles is an effective method.

On a recent trip offshore using this system, several anglers were trolling a spread of 4- to 6-inch yellow and pink jet heads in 170 feet of water and were rewarded with wahoo up to 25 pounds, king mackerel up to 25 pounds, dorado and a couple of blackfin tuna.

A second approach to catching these fish is slow trolling live bait. This style of trolling is similar to fishing for king mackerel near shore in that you deploy a spread of bait and maintain a controlled drift. Downriggers are a vital tool when fishing in this manner because many of these deep-water fish can be caught at depths of 100 feet or more when fishing in 180-200 feet of water. Large live bluerunners are effective, as are cigar minnows and Spanish sardines.

Tips: There are many Web sites with information about sea surface temperatures and currents offshore. Finding the areas with the best current rips and temperature breaks will assist you in catching more of these migrating fish.