n a normal year we look forward to St Patrick’s Day (March 17) as the time when kingfish start straggling into our area. This year is a little different not only that they are early, but in the fact they have arrived in larger than usal numbers. Trolling hardware at 5.5 to 6 knots as opposed to live bait trolling where the correct speed is “as slow as you can go” works best early in the season as it allows one to cover more territory when locating fish. Much of the floor of the gulf is covered by sand much like a desert and both benthic and pelagic fish will be found where there is an “oasis”, These occur where natural limestone outcroppings, wrecks, artificial reefs, or buoys provide cover for baitfish and their predators. Many times I hear anglers state that they put their lines out and trolled until they found fish. One can be sure that where fish were found was over an oasis. Instead of blind trolling, fishing time can be maximized by traveling to a structure area.
Trolling hardware which may consist of different size planers and various size spoons and plugs allows one to cover the water column and once a strike occurs changing to that setup on another rod often results in multiple hookups. When that strike happens the simple push of the MOB button on the GPS allows the return to the spot where the bite took place.

ntaylor

ntaylor

Former baseball umpire, now fishing guide. Graduate of the University of Arizona.
ntaylor

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