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Blue-water fishing is good for the big fish.
By STEVE PAPEN
Published August 12, 2007
What's hot: Blue-water fishing is incredible. With calm winds and flat seas, a run to 200 feet or more has been easy. Large tide rips and huge weedlines at the 70-mile mark and beyond are common. These areas are loaded with tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Trolling and vertical jigging have been the most productive.
Tactics: Vertical jigging used to be reserved for amberjack and grouper. But in the past few years, it has proved effective for almost any species. Wahoo as heavy as 25 pounds and dolphin as much as 15 pounds were caught recently using this technique. The vertical jig is 6 to 12 ounces and is deployed under any structure or floating debris and retrieved at a fast, erratic pace through the water column.
Tips: When fishing well offshore for these deep-water pelagic species, anglers need a well-formed plan. Satellites constantly read temperatures and tide directions offshore, and many Web sites offer this information. Have a lookout at the highest point of the boat with a pair of binoculars watching for birds, weedlines or any floating debris. Having a variety of baits and lures, and knowing when and where to use them are important. Changing these lures often is a sure way to find the pattern and colors fish are after. It does not take much to attract the attention of these fish, so anything you find has the potential to hold many species and great memories.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at fintasticinc.com or (727) 642-3411.