Hit the water at 5:45am and started looking for pogies on the way out.
Found a school but by the time I got the net out, they were gone.
Continued on our way out and didn't see any major bait action.
Having frozen bait we decided to roll and try some bottom action.
Tried the artificial reef area with only trash fish and one mystery hookup that quickly let go.
Tried two wrecks not that far away in less than 90ft of water, and no serious action -- Mostly seabass.
Rolled out to 110 to try for some AJ's.
We got 12-14, and almost all of them were undersized.
Only one keeper for the smoker.
Everyone's arms were sore from fighting them on medium tackle.
It was lake Atlantic out there all day with a steady .5mph drift.
Where abouts in 110? I am heading out Saturday (weather permitting) for an over night full moon trip. Hope to end up on the cones at sunrise for some wahoo trolling. I am still trying to figure out how to bottom fish. All I ever get is seabass; none of the over abundant ARS. Even though i have to throw them back would still like to get one or two.
I have been on quite a seabass and grunt run myself, but have yet to try a bit deeper and drift some good bottom in 150 - 200... To me some of the spot marked on the top spot maps really dont have much going on on the bottom. I have spent hours trolling some looking for good bottom... out of Ponce seems to be worse than Canaveral.
You need to circle some of the top spot numbers by almost half a mile to find the actual spot. Once you do, make sure you set a new waypoint and delete the original one you programmed in. I couldn't believe how far off some of the numbers were, but I bet it's from an old LORAN conversion that wasn't 100% accurate. They are good starting points for sure, but some of our best spots have been found just by being out there, and constantly watching the bottom machine.
Most of the time, if the spot isn't showing actual fish arches suspended above some type of structure, the fish just are not there, move on. Sometimes on the 27F ridge it is hard to discern fish from bottom unless you really zoom in and start taking a close look. You can see I have my unit on split-screen in only 100ft to bring out that detail. Just takes time to get the hang of knowing what a good bottom spot that is holding fish looks like compared to just some structure..
heres another tip fish marking high over the structure in most likely jacks and can also be red or vermillion snapper schools. 95 per cent of the time grouper will not mark above the structure as they hold tighter to the bottom, now in winter or early spring grouper will aggregate up for spawning and thats when they will mark up good on the sounder..So if your not marking big shows of fish on your screen that doesnt meen theres not any grouper home......but if your screen is showing alot of life on , around or just above the bottom (which can be either bait or other fish) like the above picture then thats a real good place to start as we all know big fish eat little fish so work the area hard before you move to the next spot.....some days we have to hit 8 or 10 spots in different depths to find the fish.....fish is one of those things that the more you do it the better you will get..
I hear ya Don....
If I adjust the settings on my unit I can get it to pretty much only show hard rock as yellow (or whatever color) and fish as purple.
So you can actually see them hugging the bottom, if that's the case.
Now, if you see a 15-20 cliff of relief, it never hurts to drop and see if anyone's home.
If a grouper is in a hole, he obviously isn't showing up on the sounder.
I agree... The more you fish, the more you get comfortable with your equipment and the bottom areas you are fishing. Inevitably you will find spots that are off the maps... Those become your honey holes.
I'll add a note for trolling too...
It usually helps to troll over some kind of structure (think 21/27F ridge)
Sure, you can find a sick weedline over sand bottom with nothing, and load up on phins.
But, if you can't find anything to visually fish, it is always a good idea to troll over good bottom structure.
That's why a lot of the guys run out of PC right to the cones and start trolling there.
Plus, while you are trolling, if your sounder is set at the highest ping rate, you can usually find some new spots to mark and try bottom fishing on the way in, or for next time.
Last edited by beachsideandy; 07-31-2012 at 01:13 PM.
Reason: More info...