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Panhandle Offshore Fishing 4 Cast

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Author Topic: Panhandle Offshore Fishing 4 Cast  (Read 801 times)
Destinfishing
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« on: September 08, 2011, 04:31:58 pm »

Offshore

The tropical storm we had this past weekend has kept many anglers off the water, but the bite should still be great. The best keeper fish are going to be amberjack, vermilion snapper, scamp grouper, wahoo and mahi-mahi. Amberjack and vermillion snapper can be found on any public wreck or reef in 100-plus feet. Look for schools of amberjack marking around 50 feet of water; the vermilions will be just below them.

Large live baits and circle hooks with a 10-ounce weight on a knocker rig will always produce, but if you want more action, try vertical jigging. Six- to 8-ounce vertical jigs in any color will work wonders, but blue, green, and chartreuse work the best. Fast erratic action midway down the water column will entice the amberjacks to bite. Jigging near the bottom will produce some healthy scamps.

Scamp grouper are delicious and semi-easy to target on natural structure. Eight ounces of lead tied to 5 feet of 30- to 40-pound fluorocarbon and a 5/0 circle hook is a great rig to use. The best baits are 5- to 6-ounce pinfish, and the key is to keep your bait about one foot off the bottom. Once hooked up, the first 2 to 3 cranks on the reel are really important for keeping these fish out of the rocks.

With September temperatures come three great things: mahi-mahi, wahoo, and white marlin. Hopefully the passing tropical storm has pushed quality fish and clean water north to us. The best areas will be the Nipple, Elbow, and Steps. Rumors are the 131 hole has been producing consistent wahoo. Blue and white islanders with ballyhoo are your best bet, but try mixing up your baits and lures when the bite is slow. Once you find these fish stay on them, all three species are working together to eat, so be prepared.

Try the following in your spread to mix things up: bird teaser off the shotgun position, squid daisy chain off the outriggers, and planer boards at the corners. Many of the wahoo are coming from a little deeper in the water column and planer boards, downriggers, and trolling weights will all get your baits in the proper positions. Look for birds and fish running the surface near color or temperature changes. Once located, slowly work your way into the action. If you run right up on the school, there is a strong chance of spooking the fish.
Florida Sportsman
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 04:33:58 pm by Destinfishing » Report Spam   Logged

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