Staying close was the thing to do and in all reality for the most part it is all the sea conditions would let us do. Big red drum, tarpon and a variety of different sharks made for some big smiles. The couple days we were able to get offshore where customers had full days booked we did decent on mahi and caught a few blackfin tuna and wahoo in the mix. The bottom fishing showed some potential with trigger fish, vermilions and cobia. We caught a lot of short cobia but we caught a decent amount of keepers also.
The wind is making everything very tough for at least another week or so but we can count on the big red drum to hang around and provide great entertainment for those who are in it purely for the fun of the fight. Pompano should be showing up in full force, giving surf fisherman their favorite target species and those fishing from boats the best of both worlds. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is position the boat where I can make casts to the surf for pompano and whiting off one side and soak big baits for red drum and sharks off the other side. Snook fishing will be very good for those who put in the effort to catch live bait. Live croakers or pogies are the ticket to success so be sure to spend the time or shell out the $$ for the live bait. Triple tail and flounder should be showing up giving small boats a few more options.
DON’T EVEN BOTHER! I honestly feel like leaving the forecast/report at that but, maybe just outside what we can see of the extended marine forecast. Hopefully around the middle of the month the seas will calm and we can get back offshore for the first time in what will be over 3 weeks at that point. When we do finally get offshore I would suggest bombing natural bottom between 60 and 140ft. Get everything going because volume will be your best friend to end up with keepers. Have some people on chicken rigs to excite the water column catching trigger fish, lane snapper, vermillion snapper and grunts. Have a person or 2 tight to the bottom with a sliding sinker rig for muttons and mangroves. Have someone fishing a big bait with big gear for that elusive gag or big red grouper. Have 1 person (your captain) keep everything flowing, bait cut, taking fish off, scraps chumming, rigs ready to be changed out. Keep your crew fishing and hopefully your crew wont slack and get tired after reeling up a dozen red snapper and some short vermilions and a few sharp nose sharks because volume fishing is all about grinding through the less desirable species in order to get what you want. The very next fish will be a keeper mutton or a nice cobia.
If the bottom game doesn’t sound appealing then blast offshore until you find clean water and volume troll. This means don’t be lazy and put everything out. Naked ballyhoo, big baits on planers, small baits on riggers and constantly mix it all up. You will cover some ground but at the end of the day a couple mahi, a blackfin or 2 and a wahoo makes for a great day.
We really hope the seas get calm for the holidays and we get the opportunity to either take you and your family fishing or see you on the water.