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Offshore / Inshore Action
By: Capt. Jim Green

"The temperature change has really been nice lately.

Nice kings have been caught trolling #2 up to #3-1/2 spoons with heavy trolling weights or #1 to #3 planners. Watch your bottom machine. Also look for slicks on the surface. Birds sometimes give away their location. Watch for surface action also. Sometimes you might see the mackerel flipping on the surface. When trolling by this action remember to have spoons at different depths. Sometimes the fish are near the surface and at other times they are deep beneath the bait and mackerel. Try fishing around the shrimp boats south of the islands. Troll behind the ones dragging nets or around anchored ones. The cobia have been plentiful. While chumming for the bull reds and sharks we have been picking up one or two per trip. These fish are delicious but remember to return any under 33 fork length.

We have caught some big sharks, mostly black tips while chumming recently. Use steel leaders if you are getting bit off a lot. I like to start using 125 or 150 lb. mono leaders about 3-4 feet long. Use a strong 6/0 hook. Use sinkers depending on the current strength. You may want to put out a line with no sinker and a few others with varying weight sinkers.

Keep using drift lines for the big snapper. Drift them back into your chum slick. Try adding a small split shot or two if the current is too strong to allow the bait to sink slowly. Fish some drop rigs also at various depths until you find the fish. Live pinfish, white trout or whole frozen pogies work well. If you are only catching small fish, try a different depth or a different structure all-together. If you are getting bitten off try a 3 foot section of steel leader. The kings are being caught on live baits and pogies.

Keep some live shrimp for the mangrove snapper. Sometimes they come up to your chum right at the legs of a platform. Dropping a live shrimp in is usually effective. Use as light of line as possible. I use a 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a small strong hook. Sometimes they are very finicky and you have to tie your line directly to the leader using a uni-knot eliminating a swivel. If the current is too strong for free lining try a small split shot. Although smaller than red snapper, these fish are strong. Have the appropriate tackle to get the fish out of the structure quickly.

The trout should be hanging around the islands. The cooler temperatures may help the top water action. Vary the retrieve while walking the dog. I like to use a Top Dog, Top Dog Jr. or a Top Pup. Also try fishing the Back Bay areas for trout.

I am looking through my fishing log from last year right now and it brings back great memories. We caught some fine fish from October through the winter months.

A lot of people are talking about hunting. Hunting is fine. I have bow hunted everywhere from Georgia to Montana, but I still say there is a fish to be caught 12 months in the year. If an archer really wants a challenge try shooting a 6 foot long shark. I do not do many of these trips, but if you are really good give me a call. We will write a story about you afterwards!

Email me for some fine recipes. To plan a fishing trip you can email me or call my toll-free cell number 1-888-625-5516.

Fair Winds & Following Seas,

Capt. Jim Green
Thrill Seeker Charters


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