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Need some help offshore

TrobeeTrobee Tampa FLPosts: 1 Greenhorn
Recently I've made a couple of trips off of Boynton and Delray beaches in the Hobie.  Trying to target blackfins but will be happy with anything.  All I have to show is a single bonito.  I'm jigging between 100-200 feet and trolling with cedar plugs and rigged squid skirts.  Also tried a RonZ eel and got it bitten off by what I think was a cuda.

Am I doing anything wrong or should I keep plugging away at it?  I saw a whole school of tuna below me today and couldn't get them to touch anything I threw down.  I'm almost ready to just pay for a trip with Deep Blue


  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,110 Captain
    Deep Blue does most of their fishing with live Google eyes.  If you do a trip with a kayak charter company such as them, Pushing Waters or South Florida Kayak Fishing Guides, it will jump-start your learning curve.  Live goggle eyes are best caught before sunrise on a sabiki rig.  If you don't want to get up early, they can be purchased on the water off Boyton by xtreme bait for $7 each or $40 for a half dozen. They usually deliver between Briney Breeze and the inlet after sunrise(He is catching bait up until sunrise).   

    As far as catching Blackfin on vertical jigs, The best success is found out in 180-500ft of water with 250-350 often being a sweet spot.  They are low-light fish, and the best action is typically at sunrise or sunset on live bait, but they can be taken all day long out in deep water on vertical jigs if you find the schools.  Boynton often has a strong current, which often makes it harder to keep the jig vertical.  Most bites occur when the jig is vertical, if you have too much angle on the line, the jig becomes ineffective and it is better to wind it up and reset the jig so that it is vertical when you start to work it up through the water column.  The tuna are often only 100ft down.  If you meter them on your fishfinder,  dropping to the bottom is not necessary, but it also eliminates chances for other species if skipped.  

    For trolling use a rapala,  yozuri crystal minnow, or a dead bait with a skirt to prevent it from spinning.  Fresh dead sardines or Ballyhoo are sometimes successful if put out drift fishing on a lead head rig with two extra-long shank hooks looped on by the eyelets.

    Don't get discouraged, just like anything else, it takes practice.  Working a jig can get tiring, and it takes a while to develop coordination and stamina to comfortably do it all day long without feeling tired.  If you don't have a live well on your kayak, a 5-gallon bucket can be used with an aerator.  The general rule for goggle eyes is one gallon of water per bait.  Four in a five-gallon bucket with 4 gallons of water works well.  May is an awesome month for offshore kayak fishing -- Good luck. 
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