Useful Florida Offshore Fishing Tips
Offshore fishing gear for Florida
Offshore fishing gear can be varied. For yellowtail snapper or other small bottom fish, light spinning tackle is best. To winch a large grouper out of a deep-water wreck, conventional gear must weigh 80 pounds. It is quite expensive to fish for bill fish in conventional outfits. For offshore fishing in Florida, you will need multiple outfits.
1) Fishing offshore with spinning tackle is possible in Florida
The same spinning tackle that is used to target redfish and snook in inshore waters will also work well on shallow reefs or wrecks less than 40 feet in depth. A 7-foot medium action spinning rod will work well with a 2500-3000 series reel, 20 pound braid, or 12 pound monofilament. If a school of small fish, such as Spanish mackerel and peanut dolphins are working on the surface, this same rig will work well.
Anglers should also have a heavier spinning outfit. A 7-foot medium-heavy spinning rod with a 5000 Series reel, spooled in 40 pound braided or 20 pound monofilament lines is a great all-round rig. This rod can be used for free-lined baits for cobia and sailfish, as well as for heavier bottom fishing for those who prefer spinning tackle. This link will take you to the Penn Battle combo, which is great for offshore fishing.
2) Traditional tackle is the best for fishing offshore Florida
For most offshore fishing situations, conventional tackle is the best choice. Casting is not necessary for most offshore fishing. The strength of traditional tackle shines because it is strong. Conventional reels work more like winches than spinning reels, where the line rotates 90 degrees at the spool. Conventional reels are more powerful and have better drags than spinning reels. They can also hold a lot more line.
Saltwater Trolling with Light Tackle
To cover all fishing conditions, anglers will need multiple conventional outfits. Light tackle bottom fishing is possible with a light-weight conventional outfit that includes a 7 to 7 1/2 foot rod. You can also trot for smaller species like Spanish mackerel, smaller tuna, and dolphin.
You will also need several larger, more conventional outfits. The 40-pound class will prove to be versatile for anglers. These rigs are great for bottom fishing larger fish in deeper waters as well as trolling large planers and plugs for king mackerel or other species. A heavier 6/0 rig can be used for larger game fish and trolling large planers. You can also use it for bottom fishing to catch very large fish. These are some Penn outfits that you can buy at an affordable price. Click on the links for more information.
Amazon has a wide selection of Penn Senator, and Tquall outfits for anglers.
Florida bottom fishing tips and offshore fishing tips
Bottom fishing is one of the most basic techniques for catching fish. It is simply baiting a line and dropping it to bottom. Bottom fishing is a skill that can make the difference between success or failure. There are many tactics and nuances to consider.
Bottom fishing in Florida is possible with a variety of rigs. A sliding sinker rig is one of the most effective and simple to use. It’s also known as the “Carolina Rig” in certain areas. It is an egg-shaped sinker that has a hole in the middle. A running line is passed through the hole, and then a swivel attached. The hook is attached to the end of the swivel.
The length and strength of leaders will vary depending on the water depth and species targeted. A 30 pound fluorocarbon leader measuring around 3 feet in length will work well for anglers fishing in shallow waters. For grouper and snapper fishing, anglers will use leaders up to 20 feet in length and up 100 pound test fluorocarbon.
2) Offshore bottom fishing rigs include chicken, sliding sinker and knocker.
A “knocker rig” is one variation of this rig. This rig has the sinker placed between the hook and the swivel. This allows the weight of the hook to rest right on the eye. Although it may seem odd, this rig is extremely effective. This rig is very effective because the bait will be on the bottom if the weight is on it. If the bait gets stuck, I can easily dislodge the weight by sliding it against the hook. This is how it got its name.
The “spreader” rig, also known as the “chicken rig”, is another popular and efficient rig. It has a swivel at its top, a sinker at its bottom, and multiple hooks that are tied at regular intervals. This rig is great for drifting in open waters. This rig can also present multiple baits from different distances to the bottom. This rig is usually equipped with a bank sinker.
Sinker weight should be kept to a minimum to ensure that the bottom holds. In most cases, the less weight is better. This will allow for a natural presentation, with the bait slowing fluttering down instead of making a loud sound and crashing to the bottom.
For bottom fishing offshore, the best choice is to use circle hooks
The final component of the rig is the hook. There are many options for hook sizes and styles. Circle hooks are required for anglers who fish in the Gulf of Mexico. These hooks have been shown to decrease gut hooking, and therefore mortality, in fish being released. Although they are not mandatory for anglers who fish the Atlantic Ocean, many others use them.
The size of your bait should match the hook size. If the drag is properly set, a large fish can be caught with a small hook. For small snapper fishing in shallow waters, anglers will use a #4 hook. A hook that is larger than a #10/0 is required for bottom fishing for large grouper or amberjack.
The article was written by a professional charter captain at Salty Knots Fishing Charters with 15+ years of experience in the Gulf of Mexico. Salty Knots Fishing Charters is a local fishing charter service based out of St. Pete Beach, Florida. “We know what it takes to catch a giant trophy fish!” Salty Knots Is the best when it comes to Offshore Fishing in St.Pete FL.