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New to the offshore fishing scene. Little guidance requested

TugCaptTugCapt Senior MemberPosts: 195 Deckhand
I just picked up a new to me boat thats big enough to get out and fish. Ive been fishing inland salt water mostly after losing interest in fresh water.

The boat is rigged with outriggers, and down rigger. Im pretty well geared up for trolling or bottom fishing. Couple of questions for bait. whats the best bet for bottom? Frozen squid cut up? or what else?
I know how to net the pogies for trolling purposes but do you guys fish them on bottom live ? Im assuming i could also use them as cut bait?

As far as anything else goes im kinda lost. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.


  • ValhallaValhalla Senior Member Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Squid or cuttlefish on 3/0 circle hooks for bass, trigs, beeliners. Thirty to forty pound test. Cigar minnows, spanish sardines, boston mackeral, pinfish for snapper and grouper. Sixty to 80lb main line. 80 to 100lb leader for grouper, forty to sixty leader for snapper. What is this thing you call trolling?
  • ValhallaValhalla Senior Member Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Oops. 7/0 circle hook for snap and grp. 8oz weight is average for most bottom fishing
  • troutdigglertroutdiggler Senior Member Posts: 399 Deckhand
    Fishing offshore bottom bumping, you can use almost anything for bait. I always like to bring a smorgasbord and let the fish tell me what they are eating. Bigger bait equals bigger fish, like Valhalla said hook size and leader size are important for targeting species. Drop a line and see what's hitting then adjust if needed.

    I use a three way swivel 2, 2 ft of leader to a 7/0 circle hook, and a 10oz weight on 8-12 in of line with a loop to remove the weight while underway.

    Anchoring or being on the spot is the most crucial aspect of a good bite. Use a jug to mark the spot if you are going to drift it or try to anchor it so you have some visual reference. If you anchor make sure you got a big enough anchor and enough chain to hold it down. Calm days with light current are easier than windy days. I drop anchor and see what happens, if I am over 50ft away, I pick up and adjust my drop and try again.

    Once on the spot, give it 30 min or so, if it isn't happening or your catching sharks move on. Start out with large areas of structure, they are easier to hit than ledges. Make sure your anchor is rigged to breakaway and have seatow or boat us membership!!! Worth every penny if even your battery's dead and you need a jump.

  • TugCaptTugCapt Senior Member Posts: 195 Deckhand
    Thanks a lot guys. So if i buy frozen sardines, cigar minnows and stuff do i fish those whole on the bottom or cut them?
  • ValhallaValhalla Senior Member Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Keep the sardines frozen hard. They are delicate. Rip off the tail sothey dont spin. Put the hook thru the nose or eyes. Cigar minnows are hardier. I hook them thru the tail twice. If u are fishing in current hook ur live bait thru the lips so they swim , not spin.
  • ValhallaValhalla Senior Member Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Fish both whole to avoid small fish. Cut off tail on sardines so they dont spin.
  • TugCaptTugCapt Senior Member Posts: 195 Deckhand
    excellent info thank you.
  • aboveboredabovebored Senior Member IslandiaPosts: 1,401 Officer
    fresh dead pinfish butterflied whole on bottom. They will withstand more junkfish nibbles than frozen bait
  • TugCaptTugCapt Senior Member Posts: 195 Deckhand
    wheres the best place to grab these pin fish
  • aboveboredabovebored Senior Member IslandiaPosts: 1,401 Officer
    4 or 5' deep grass bottom. small hook with squid
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