ave Zalewski 460-9893This year’s red tide has caused a dramatic change in our daily game plan when preparing to go offshore. In a normal year we would out #1 planers with small spoons while still in the bay because the no wake zone would mandate that we proceed at trolling speed for hardware which is between 5.5 and 6 knots. If bait and Spanish mackerel were present oftentimes we continued trolling out as far as the John’s Pass marker which is a mile offshore. Because of the lack of baitfish near shore, we are now starting our trolling trips about 10 miles offshore where the bait schools are beginning to show up in quantity, Areas on and near the mid water artificial reefs are great places to look for schools of bait and birds both on the surface and on the fish finder. We have found that matching the lure size to the size of the baitfish in the area is critical. Our typical starting trolling spread will consist of a #1 planer, 30 feet of 40 pound mono leader and a 00 spoon; a #2 planer, 30 feet of 50 pound mono and a medium sized spoon. The third line deployed will be down the middle with half of a #17 sabiki with a small trolling sinker attached to the trailing end of it. Baitfish have been in the fry state and on some days even the 00 spoon may be too large to trigger a strike.
Kingfish activity has been spotty at best, when it should be getting better every day. The cold front that we are experiencing should drop water temperatures, the high winds may break up the red tide and our fall kingfish season should hopefully be in full swing.

CapMel Staff
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