west end fishing advice

mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
I'm leaving for West End (OBB) this July out of Ft Pierce and am seeking some guidance about what to target while there. I went to OBB last June and didn't get to fish a lot as the weather wasn't cooperating but did manage to troll out front of the marina (ballyhoo and lures)from 300 ft to 1000 plus without much luck.I would like to be more successful this time around.Many of those I met at the resort told me summer wasn't exactly a great time to troll and suggested bottom fishing / deep dropping.

Of course I would like to possibly run to the NW providence channel  and try my luck at tuna fishing and am toying with the idea of buying a deep drop set up.i really enjoyed my last stay there sitting by the pool and beach and just relaxing but want to focus more on fishing this year.

So... if you spent a week in West End in July would you invest in a deep drop outfit having no experience in this type of fishing? Get a couple big gold reels and try out tuna fishing? or just bottom fish or troll with my current gear? 

I'm just looking for some general guidance such as is tuna fishing feasible right off West End ? I have seen a video on Florida Sport Fishing magazine out of Blue Marlin Cove where they caught some really nice YFT and after each fish caught there was a reference to "Right out front Blue Marlin Cove" which struck me as an advertisement.Are the YFT really right out front or would I be better off making the trip to NW Providence channel.

Im in a 26 center console twin 150's plenty of range, radar and nice bottom machine.My buddy boat is a large grady with twin 350's with open array radar. I'm also looking a getting a local guide for the day on my/his boat.Whats the going rate for a local guide for say a half day/day of fishing or spearing? 

yes I know lots of questions just trying to prioritize my time there and not break the bank buying lots of new gear that I wont use often. I realize it's a lot about putting your time in figuring things out.Any advice or comments much appreciated.
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Replies

  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,411 Officer
    We stay at Blue Marlin for 4 days in June
     with a group of 20 boats.All we do is deep drop
    we do a fish fry for the whole group so we need
     to catch alot of fish.We drop with 3 rods at a time.
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    thanks plastered 2850 what depths do you target I was thinking around 700 to 800 as Im thinking of buying a tanacom 1000 set up which I believe would be around the max depth I would be looking at.

    since Im going in July maybe I should scrap the deep drop idea as you guys will have already caught everything, jusy kidding. thanks for the reply

  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,411 Officer
    I will get in the boat and i will send you some #s.
  • BullMarketBullMarket Posts: 184 Deckhand
    I would strongly suggest buying 2 tanacom1000's  Load them with 80# braid and you will be good to go. I have done great deep dropping right out front some days and other days can't find a decent snapper out front.  I have always done reasonably well just north of memory rock up to white sands. Also out front of blue marlin cove can be productive. 

    If you hire a guide use him to take you fishing in 150' or less.  You don't need them for deep dropping but can be extremely helpful showing you the best way to catch big muttons ect. He may also hook you up with some "summer crabs" if you want. 

    As for tuna fishing;  Yes you can catch yellowfins not too far from the dock however that if far from the normal. What I can't tell you strongly enough for that time of year is to fish until dark.  The last 30 minutes of the day the bite can go from non-existent to on fire out in the middle of the channel. If you don't mind the fuel burn you really should run all the way to the canyon (about 40 miles). You can see them on google maps, 20 miles SSE of Lucaya that is were most of the yellowfins hold.  If your just out in the middle of the channel you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding blackfins. Especially if you wait until the end of the day.  Again no need to hire a guide for that.  You can learn enough from this forum if you ask. Make sure you also have a good assortment of tuna feathers and don't be afraid to pull them quick and far behind the boat, up to 200 yards back if need be. If you find the weed there should still be some mahi around as well. 

    Now just hope for a week of good weather unlike what it has been like for the last 12 days. 
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  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 354 Deckhand
    Bull's right save tuna for the end of the day. Use your radar and either troll or chunk. Bottom fishing is hit or miss. usually better North. Don't miss out on Sandy and stingrays for something fun when not fishing. Good luck.
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    Wow Bull market thats a heck of a response and very much appreciated! this answered many questions in my head.

    privateer I tried Sandy Cay last year and chickened out when it started getting shallow.Is it better to access from the bahama bank side by first going through the channel (Goodwill Channel I think) or coming in from the ocean side? im only in a 26 cc.

    Is it worth doing a day trip to the Grand / Walkers area for snorjeling or spearing? 

    Also looking for decent snorkeling for the kids.Sorry for all the questions had to hear it all year long about why I didnt do better on last years trip.

    Thanks
  • BullMarketBullMarket Posts: 184 Deckhand
    There is more water coming in from the bank side.  The wreck is almost due north of the island about 1/4 mile. I would not burn the fuel to go up to walkers unless you were really motivated to spearfish.  You can snorkel just to the west side of Indian. Especially if there is an east wind that area will stay calm.  What I like to do for stuff like that is compare the navionics chart to google maps and look for areas I want to check out.  Also if you are going to consider running to Walkers it a little bit closer to go to Great Issac (5-10 miles closer)

    Its not a bad day trip to run down to the Issac's in the AM looking for birds ect. Then fish/spear in the shallows or deep drop during the middle of the day.  Work your way back towards dusk again looking for birds ect. It makes for a long day but you can knock a lot out. 
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  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,411 Officer
    Did you get the #s.
  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 870 Officer
    Plastered,
    Your numbers are public. I'd be pi$$ed if I was you.
    PM messages show up and I have mentioned it a couple times and no one seems to care.
    I would not send another message until someone addresses the issue.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,411 Officer
    4WARD said:
    Plastered,
    Your numbers are public. I'd be pi$$ed if I was you.
    PM messages show up and I have mentioned it a couple times and no one seems to care.
    I would not send another message until someone addresses the issue.
    Well that stinks.
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    yes I got them havent checked the forum lately working a lot as of late.This was very nice plastered.I wouldnt have dreamed of asking for this info. unfortunatley I guess theres a problem with pm messages.

    I really appreciate the information and owe you a couple cold ones if we cross paths.
  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 354 Deckhand
    i have come in on just about every side but the east side seems best. mantinella reef is awesome for snorkeling and is just beautiful.
  • Nole on a DuskyNole on a Dusky Fort Pierce, FLPosts: 3 Greenhorn
    I’d like to say Thank you to all of you, my family is running over to West End with Mile Marker and this will be our first trip.  You guys have been great.  Sounds like we can snorkel and bottom fish in the day and then chase YF in the late afternoon.  My family has high expectations since this trip has been all I talk about lately (think the wife is ready to choke me). Thanks for the help!
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,108 AG
    Hey Nole! Are you Mile Marker's buddy with the Grady? If so, shouldn't you be Nole on a Grady??  B)

    Me? I actually am a "Nole on a Grady"!!

    1) Run up past Sandy in about 100' and drift the bottom with baits. Jigs tipped with ballys, with squid, etc. The bottom in that area and depth can be jagged and I left a nice anchor up there 12 years ago!  :#

    2) Troll some big lipped plugs (north of OBB) in 40-60 feet over good bottom for Grouper and Muttons. If/when you get a hit, turn towards deeper water right away.

    3) I have been told that when you come out of OBB, make a left and run to that point that sticks out and look in about 80-90 feet right off that tip for a small wreck.

    4) Take the kids to the OBB fish cleaning table and walk past it a few yards and drop a nice little bait with no weight on it. There are are some pretty nice Mangrove Snappers in there! Do that late in the day or on a cloudy day.

    5) Rent a car and make the 75 mile drive to the east end of GBI! Stop at Big John's about 60 miles east. The beach there is A-Mazing!

    6) Dig back a few years and look for my two, long, lengthy, photo-filled Trip Reports from OBB! That should give you a few more ideas on some fun stuff to do!

    Here ya go:   

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/discussion/4972/obb-west-end-july-4th-weekend/p1

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/discussion/54032/old-bahama-bay-athon-18-nights-at-obb/p1

    The above Reports are NOT Fishing Trip Reports but they might help you to see what else is available for you and your family. Make sure your wives read it and it 'shows' better on something bigger than a phone!
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,203 Admin
    edited May 31 #16
    I'm surprised no one's mentioned yellowtailing - the best fishing at that time of year and great for the kids.
    Head north of Sandy, anywhere up towards Memory, and look for the fish in 60-100' (the school looks like and upside-down Christmas tree on the depthfinder). Anchor and chum like crazy. Fish light spinners with a #1 hook, maybe a splitshot, and silversides or  a piece of squid. Freeline the bait back with the chum until it gets picked up.
    Best on an outgoing tide (water flowing off the bank).
    We always put something on the bottom (like a small YT) for grouper while we're there.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    So much great advice cantwait until July
  • Nole on a DuskyNole on a Dusky Fort Pierce, FLPosts: 3 Greenhorn
    Hey Gary, yeah I’m a Nole on a Grady, I used to have a Dusky and I don’t know how to change my name... so I guess I’ll have to keep the Dusky part.  Thanks for the tips!  Looks like you had a great couple trips, 18 days wow i’m jealous.

    Couple quick questions- are pole spears allowed or just Hawaiian slings?

    and  are you allowed to bring any conch back?
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,411 Officer
    Can not bring conch back.Im heading across
    next week i will let you know how we do.
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,203 Admin

    Couple quick questions- are pole spears allowed or just Hawaiian slings?

    Pole spears and Hawaiian slings are both legal.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    So much great advice cantwait until July
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    Any advice on storing large amounts of chunk baits for a week at obb thinking like a couple flats of sardines? I was only able to mantain a smaller amount of bait i took last year in a cooler for a couple days.

    Get a high end cooler? Dry ice? Anyone in west end to purchase bait from?

    Probly a bad idea, troll up barracuda early in the day cut it up and use for tuna chunking later in the day?

    Any ideas appeciated
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,203 Admin
    Any advice on storing large amounts of chunk baits for a week at obb thinking like a couple flats of sardines? I was only able to mantain a smaller amount of bait i took last year in a cooler for a couple days.

    Get a high end cooler? Dry ice? Anyone in west end to purchase bait from?

    Probly a bad idea, troll up barracuda early in the day cut it up and use for tuna chunking later in the day?

    Any ideas appeciated
    There's no bait for sale in W.E. Trolling up cuda is actually a great idea, but we use them for deep dropping and bottom fishing. Never tried cuda for tuna.
    Otherwise the high end coolers work, and if you've got the room, buy a small electirc chest freezer and leave it on the dock when you get there.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • JaxJax Posts: 57 Greenhorn
    Small chest freezer you can get for $200 or less. Tell the dock hand it’s his when you leave and he will keep an eye on it. 
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,411 Officer
    Had a great crossing plenty of fish deep dropping
    some tuna in the canyons.Was terrible hot and mosquitos
    were terrible.Have a good trip.
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    So any suggestions on storing flats of sardines or large amounts of bait for tuna chunking at obb? Last year i tried using a basic cooler keeping a small amount of bait in the shade iced down but after a couple days it was getting crappy.Tring to figue an easy solution for a week. Dry ice, high end cooler any ideas appreciated.  

    Anywhere to purchase chunk bait in west end?

    Although I have never read anything about trolling up barracuda and using it for tuna chunking. is this a decent bait for that type of fishing?

    Thanks guys for any suggestions 
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    Nice cooler it is love the freezer idea just short on space.maybe a bee suit for the bugs
  • KaimanaKaimana Posts: 240 Deckhand
    They sell bait at the new store at Bootle Bay.  I'd give them a call to see what they have in stock but i think they will have what you need.  Give the lodge there a call - the fishing store is right there.
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,786 Admin
    Dont keep bait in my condo freezer :-)

    There are locals there that will cast net bait for you. Talk with Capt Keith, he has a few guys collecting bait for him weekly to feed the stingrays on his eco tours.  He can have his guys get some extra bait for you. 

    If you troll in front of first rock island outside the entrance to OBB with tube lures you will quickly pick up a few cudas to chunk up. 
    Mark Wilson
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  • wanabewanabe Posts: 166 Deckhand
    anyone have any deep drop numbers off lacaya? or ginger breads ... could use some help .. also i know its late ... but tuna???  

    leaving sunday!!

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  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    Very cool didn't know there was a bait shop at bootle bay.Dont worry Mark I was planning on icing down the bathtub ,much more room than the freezer Just kidding.. can't wait for the trip sorry for all the questions guys and much appreciate all the advice!
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