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Discussion Starter #1
I’m new to offshore fishing and need advice on what most people do when planning an overnight trip. I will be vacationing near Pensacola and bringing my 30’ CC. I am wanting to do some trolling and bottom fishing around the Petronius, Horn, Ram Powell etc. Any advice on how most people do a trip like this? Such as when and where to troll and/or bottom fish and how to maximize the time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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eating tasty
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Do you have experience tuna fishing? Sword fishing? Deep dropping? There are so many things you can do on a trip like that. It's more than anyone can type up on the internet, you just need to take someone (me! I have deep drop numbers! Haha) with you. Or anyone on this forum with numbers and experience.

The absolute best would be to hire a pro to run your boat, there is a captain here who posts fairly frequently, Capt Delynn. Not sure what he charges, but it would be the difference in absolutely crushing every species of fish vs. potentially burning 200 gallons of fuel with nothing to show.

Realistically and weather permitting you could run to the rigs, troll, chunk, live bait, jig/whatever is working for tuna and other Pelagics. Swordfish at night on the steps or spur, deep drop the next morning for tilefish and deep water grouper, swing by the edge to grab mingos and scamp, then take 5 to grab some sow snapper. It sounds like a lot but it could happen. That's why we try and dream!
 

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eating tasty
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If you take no other advice from anyone, go to MP 255, and drop some speed jigs for the swarms of massive amberjack that live there. So much fun. Your back can thank me later.
 

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When are you coming down? The ghetto rigs (the onese you mentioned) can be VERY hit or miss. Right now they are in really really dirty water (last time I looked) and personally I wouldnt waste my time there until it cleans up. I love fishing out there in September and October.

Get a roffs or some other satellite imagery service, well worth it. Not to say fish cant be caught in any thing other then blue water but clean green is way different than the mud thats been out there right now. If you dont have the range to run to the floaters I would do just an all day deep drop/bottom fish trip instead unless you have your heart set on night timing for swords.

Do you have electric reels for deep dropping?

Tiles are easy, find some mud bottom in 800-1000' and drift until you find them. When you catch one hit MOB and keep drifting that area until you no longer get bites. Look for wide contour lines on a chart, that will for sure be mud but honestly its pretty much all mud that deep. Deep water groupers are more dependable around structure and with out numbers can be tough to find. Yellowedge however Ive found mixed in with tiles over mud.

As fenderbender said, going with an experienced captain is well worth it. Delynn is no doubt best in the business (hell Im a charter Capt and would love to fish with him one day) when it comes to stuff like you are looking at doing. If he is booked up and if I have availability (wont until after snapper season) I also do these kinds of trips. I have some excellent experience deep dropping (and the numbers) as well as tuna fishing. I can get you on mingos and scamp and other bottom fish a bit shallower. Im also outfitted with the gear to pull some baits in the event things clean up relatively close and we want to troll.

What ever you decide, be safe and have fun!

(pics are all from my little 26' Twin Vee and day trips)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate the advice I will be down there from 7/6-7/16 during snapper season if something opens up just let me know and maybe we can work something out then.
 

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Out of curiosity being a local fisherman what depth range would you focus on bottom fishing around the reefs off Pensacola pass. Are there some that tend to be more productive then others? Ex. Tanks, artifiacial reef modules, bridge rubble or wrecks?
 

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I appreciate the advice I will be down there from 7/6-7/16 during snapper season if something opens up just let me know and maybe we can work something out then.
Here's some advice for when you DO get to hit the floaters:

Make sure to get some sleep, a little on the way out there, a catnap or two while you're there, and a little on the way back. Trips like this will kick your butt...and you WILL still have to clean the fish, clean the boat and drive home.


Bring plenty of jigs, topwater baits etc. Nothing like losing your only diamond jig to a barracuda while you watch your friends hook into numerous fish.

Drink a LOT of water. Leave the hard liquor at home. It dehydrates you and numbs your mind...no need to be 150 miles offshore and do something dangerously stupid while drunk.


Make use of your time there. While there, don't stop fishing. You don't catch fish with all the lines out of the water.


Take photos...you'd be surprised at some of the awesome wildlife and imagery that comes that far out.
 
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