Tips? Running out of Boca inlet,trying to stay within 3-4 miles and leverage artificials/strip bait

Boat's a Boston Whaler Montauk 170, and I run out of the Boca inlet. There's no livewell and I try not to go more than 3-4 miles out weather permitting.

Right now my equipment is a pair of Penn Battle II 4000 combos loaded 30 lb power pro braid. My goal is to target something my family and I can eat for dinner. Lately I've been trolling a blue/silver Rapala rapx in about 75' and have caught bonito haha, good bait at least.

Any tips on how I can most effectively fish that water column inline of 3-4 miles? Ideally with artificials, or I can use bonito strips.  I appreciate any insight you can provide! 

For electronics I have a Lowrance Elite9TI, Totalscan transducer, Nav Plat+ maps for the local area. Have a T-Top which has 4 rod holders, and then have 2 rail mounted rod holders, one on each side. 

Thank you! 



  • CoastalCatchCoastalCatch Lighthouse PointPosts: 321 Deckhand
    edited June 13 #2
    Mann's stretch 30 redhead - catches everything...kings, bonito, skipjack, mahi, grouper, Jack Crevalle, etc.

    'The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.' ~ George Orwell

  • brianbbrianb Posts: 2,264 Captain
    I recommend you bottom fish for snapper if you want edible fish this time of year, unless you like to eat kingfish. 
  • jheiiijheiii Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    edited June 13 #4
    Cool, I'll try that mann stretch 30 redhead out... how do you suggest rigging it? How fast would you suggest running it?

    Caught a couple kingfish and spanish mackerel 2 days ago and they cooked up great! They weren't huge, have noticed on the larger kingfish the meat tends to get grayer. Cut the bloodline out, oven at 400*, seasoned up and the family ate good. 

    Any tips on bottom fishing snapper? I figure find structure, put some cut up frozen sardines or chunks of bonita on a Mustad 1 hook, free line it out on a 1/2 oz or 1oz egg sinker, on a 10 or 15lb maybe 6 feet of flouro or mono leader presentation?
  • CoastalCatchCoastalCatch Lighthouse PointPosts: 321 Deckhand
    edited June 17 #5
    For your Mann's stretch 30 add 6-8 feet of 60 lb. fluro to your braid without swivel...tie direct to lure. Troll over the tops of reefs 25-40' and you'll catch grouper @ 4-6 mph.
    A grouper expert said, "If your lure is not hitting the bottom you are not deep enough."
    I even picked up a legal mutton once in 40'  just outside the Hillsboro Inlet doing 5 mph!  :open_mouth:

    Troll outside the reef 6-8 mph about 100-150 feet back...make sure your knots are perfect! 

    I'm incompetent with snapper.*..but there are experts here that may want to assist you...but FIRST read thru some recent threads...there's GOLD there!!!
    Also check out South General Fishing & Outdoors. 

    * Slab out your bonito to 1/2" thick and coat flesh side liberally with rocksalt and also a dusting of baking soda that preserves color making it tough to get off the can pre-cut your bait chunks before you throw it in the freezer, or just take a frozen slab next time you go and cut them on the boat. There are youtubers who can show you how to make strip baits for trolling with sea witches with or without planers.

    'The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.' ~ George Orwell

  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 933 Officer
    Don't overlook frozen sardines fished flat on a circle hook -- sails, kings, dolphin, runners (blue and rainbow), bonita, etc., etc....  It is super simple fishing!  You can also drop chunks, slabs, or whole sardines down to the bottom at the same time.

    200' should be in your range that far south.  Some really nice blackfin are taken on live bait down that way.  Consider a simple winnow bucket in a 5 gallon bucket to get a few white bait out to depth with you.  (So says the guy that almost never bothers with live bait...)
  • Boca KrisBoca Kris Posts: 129 Deckhand
    For kingfish, try this: soak the steaks in regular milk overnight in the fridge. Make sure the steaks are covered. The milk draws out the oil and will turn the milk gray. My Italian buddy taught me that trick and I've never eaten king (aside from what I smoke) without that trick, it makes a big difference. Then, you can clean up the bones and do it with white wine, capers and butter. I've fed a lot of people king who had no idea!
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,108 AG
    Run straight out to the third reefline and turn south, running right on the outside where the reef drops from 50-70 feet. Use the Lowrance to mark fish. Go past them and drop the hook. Lots of chum and on a lite spinner, drift back a 1/8 oz naked, yellow jig tipped with 1/2 a shrimp, a silversides, a skinny strip of bally and continue to slowly pull the line off the reel to allow the bait to drift back with the chum. Point your rod at the water so as to pull the line off the reel and straight down the rod.......

    If you can fish a day with winds from the south and an incoming tide, you should get dinner. On the other side of the boat, heave back a heavier line and bait to sit on the bottom....... Let 'Rod" get the hookup for you but the bait must be sitting on the bottom.......
  • 20psimr20psimr Posts: 36 Greenhorn
    edited June 22 #9
    With kids and fiance on the boat, I rig up spinners (12-25lb class, 4000-5000 size reel) loaded with 30 lb braid to a 2 oz weight. From there tie on a good quality swivel, use a bead if the swivel will go through the weight. Then tie on 5-7 ft of fluoro, I mainly use 20 lb, and 2/0 J hook. Owner SSW are my preference. Then use a piece of squid or shrimp with the head ripped off, and de-shelled. Thread shrimp on the j hook the same way the shrimp is curved. That will catch anything and everything. Usually fish in the 70-110 ft range and catch yellowtails, muttons, triggers, mangroves this way. I like to put a beefier rig down with a larger bait, same spinner and setup but go to 30 lb fluoro, 5/0 SSW and a nice big chunk of bonita or ballyhoo plug.

    Key is, make sure you can hit the bottom and feel it. Then crank up 2 cranks. If you dont start feeling bites in 15-20 seconds, let line out till you feel sinker hit bottom again, then crank 2 cranks to prevent getting stuck again. I do that 4-5 times, then reel it in and re-drop. If you arent getting bites even from crappy lizardfish almost immediately, you are in a dead zone move somewhere else. Usually they are eating it 5 seconds after you lock the bail over in my experience!

    If you catch something you dont want to eat, like a runner, bonita, grunt those all make the best fresh bait. Going out of Boca you have the live ballyhoo option too, I cant seem to find them here in Jupiter. Chum on anchor on the first reef (20-30 ft ish) and then throw the net on the hoo when they are thick in the chum slick.

    I havent been doing this long, only had my boat about 8 months but those work really well for me.
    Everglades 223cc
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