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So me and my buddy are looking to finally make our first trip of the summer this Friday. He’s asking me what I want to do and since I don’t much care I’m coming to the experts.

I’m thinking make it a somewhat easy trip and do some bottom dropping for mingo and explore the edge since neither of us have made it that way yet and we want to learn it some and fish it.

Any tips and hints for where to start at the edge and what we should be looking to drift would help make it a more successful trip would be awesome! Chicken rigs with some cigar minnows would be what I assumeall we would be running but if something would work better lemme know.

Also I like trolling a good bit more than bottom dropping so if there are some other areas that I’m not thinking about that we can make some short runs to while trolling some high speed lures for wahoo or something basically just throw all of your ideas at me haha.

I’ve done quite a bit of fishing in Venice at the rigs so we can rig and run lines but not a whole bunch of experience out of destin.

We do have some numbers but really don’t want to hit those before the season opens up.
 

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While fishing the edge i recommend using squid/cut bait also to target mingos. Chances of a wahoo mahi or black fin are very posssible around the edge trolling/flat lining live baits
 

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Keep an eye on your bottom machine and zig zag from 160-250' and you'll find some areas holding bottom fish while you troll. If you don't want to higspeed you can pull divers or planer baits off the flatlines and I'd pull small feathers or jets off the riggers or other rods a good ways back for tuna. Worse case you catch kings and bonito
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For divers would Rapala xrap magnum 30s be good divers to run off the flatlines? And run blue and white islander ballyhoos on the riggers way back?
 

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That'd work. The blackfin will usually eat a smaller bait better than ballyhoo hence the small jet heads or feathers. But you never know! Post a report when you're done
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Since we are headed in that direction would it be worth a stop at chepanoc to try and catch some AJ?? I figure since the season just opened it might be decently fresh or does it pretty much stay fished out by now
 

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Go to Goggle Earth and zoom zoom in due south southwest of Pensacola pass about 25 to 30 miles. All that scrabble in shaded blue is rock, rock ledges and coral formations. Enough stuff to never have to fish same spot twice. You don’t really need exact numbers in those areas. Watch you fish finder in the 200 to 250 ft range. Plenty of fish in most spots.
 

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Big big AJ’s inhabit almost all of the rocks, ledges, limestone formations, coral formations and drop offs in the area I describe regarding google earth. Just headed out according to what you see on google earth bearings and finding your own spots. Thousands and thousands of spots are around the south edges of the curves on google earth.
 

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Go to Goggle Earth and zoom zoom in due south southwest of Pensacola pass about 25 to 30 miles. All that scrabble in shaded blue is rock, rock ledges and coral formations. Enough stuff to never have to fish same spot twice. You don’t really need exact numbers in those areas. Watch you fish finder in the 200 to 250 ft range. Plenty of fish in most spots.
Another edge newbie here, I plan on going out for the first time as soon as the new motors are broken in. I was going to head to the general area and trolling to find spots, but I keep hearing about using google earth to scout spots beforehand and it seems some fishy looking areas have very little depth changes.

For instance take a look at the bottom at 30° 7.995'N 86° 48.164'W. There clearly looks like some draws or ridges throughout the area but the top of the drop off is about 149 ft deep. The bottom of the formation looks like it's maybe 165 ft a quarter mile away. Is that structure something that is worth fishing or is it too gradual of a drop off to be significant? There also appears to be rocks or a wreck or something shown at 30° 7.205'N 86° 49.187'W, but the cursor shows the depth to range from 251 to 254. Should you trust the bottom visuals or the depth?

Also for other newbies I searched "the edge" on here and found a lot of good material. I copied/pasted some of the more helpful posts into a word document. I didn't grab the posters' names, so credit isn't being given where it's due and some of the posts lack context since I didn't copy entire threads, but hopefully this might help some other folks out. Half hitch tackle shop's website also has some pretty good info for fishing the edge on some of their presentations too.

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In general fish will stay just on the top side of the drop off... if you are drifting it's time to reset a minute or so after you see the drop off fall off.

If you anchor try to get the baits right on the top side of the drop off. Watch the lines after they hit bottom. Imagine where they arein relation to the boat and position the boat accordingly. Just because you anchor the boat right over the drop off doesn't mean the baits are right under the boat.

Don't be afraid to move the boat to someplace even close by if the bite slows.If Flipper shows up or the sharks are thick, move a mile or so.

The "Edge" runs about 060 degrees to 240 degrees. It's not a bad idea to put out a line or two and troll as you move or simply searchfrom spot to spot.

ALWAYS, ALWAYShave a rod rigged for apitch bait readyto pitch out if a Cobia or a big Mahi shows up. Mono leader, preferably a live bait standing by. If one shows up be calm and methodical, hook it right and pitch that livey or dead bait10 feet or so out in front of the fish.

It's a bit early, but if you catch a blackfin tuna, chum like CRAZY and freeline a one inch hunk of ANY bait in the chumline. After it's out 100 yards reel it back in and do it again.

the edge is where the change in depth is faster and more pronounced than closer in. About 30+ miles out of Destin round 25 from Pensacola . starts around 150ft . If you google earth, you can see where it starts. why are asking?

troll planners and spoons at 8 knots on the way out you will catch kings, spanish, and bonita. Bonita is the best snapper and trigger bait you can find, and its free. use big pieces for snapper and small pieces on two hook rigs for triggers.

Grouper especially Gags like bigger relief and Red Grouper likes the small swiss cheese live bottom. Mingos are on most everything and they look like huge red balls on your bottom machine and triggers are from top to bottom. Small circle hooks and a bank sinker on bottom and two hook rig it. Ajs like large relief also and especially big wrecks.



Yes you should have found structure and the first edge drop usually runs from 160' to 180' and 180' to 200'. There is definite relief and definite fish marking on the good ledges.

It drops from 175-180 to 200-210 right on the edge drop off. I typically mark most of the fish hanging right on the top side of the relief.


AJ’s use Mullet, Mingo's, Large Pinfish, Ruby's,etc... If you can't see them on your bottom machine stay about 6' off the bottom.
 

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We did OK Saturday at The Edge with bonito for mingos. Obviously stays on better than squid. And caught several (then out of season) AJs. Kept 3 Almaco.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Awesome thanks! We just saw the Hilton report and are thinking about trolling Mingo Ridge and around the Ozark with a yozuri Bonita off a flat and a jet head daisy chained off port rigger red white cedar plug shotgun black and purple tuna feather off starboard rigger and maybe another yozuri Bonita if we have it on the starboard flat line or we will just pull one of the Rapala plugs.

Any tips for trolling that area?

Are we dumb for wanting to do that

We wish we had more wahoo rigs but we hadn’t gotten there yet
 

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We've had good luck trolling near the Whitman tug in years past. Caught wahoo, sailfish, and lost a nice billfish last November that just about spooled a 30wide with power pro. Work this area and the edge where the depths range from 160-250. If you have the ability to make it to the nipple, it's a productive area as well. Look for rips or weed lines throughout all these areas and work both sides while trolling. Sometimes rips won't always hold weeds or debris but the easiest way to spot them is they look like a smooth "roadway" in the water where both sides are rough and the "roadway" is as calm as can be. Also,always keep your eyes peeled for floating debris. Can't tell you how many times we ran accross something the size of a cooler lid and ended up with several mahi or a couple wahoo.

If you're looking to troll the edge I can hook you up with some killer baits. I'm the owner of Tailwalker Lures out of the Destin area. If you're targeting wahoo you can go about it two ways. High speed is option 1 using my Fury and Fury XL. Fury can be pulled up to 15 knots and the big brother Fury XL up to 20 knots, both without a trolling weight, to help reduce the need for a wire man because of the heavy trolling weight and long leaders. These will help you cover a ton of ground and not often will a wahoo resist a bait he thinks will get away.
Option 2 you can slow down to a 7-8 knot trolling speed and go with my Hustler or Thunder Jet lures. These are both cup faced lures that make one hell of a smoke trail. I would run both of these off the short left and right corners of the boat. One is 25-30 feet and the next is 40-45 feet on the opposite side. It's always worked best for me to zig zag my baits starting from the corner of the boat working to my outriggers. When you let the first bait out, watch the smoke trail from the bait you let out and where that trail ends will be the beginning of the next bait opposite side of the boat. I can draw a diagram if it would help. I would also try my Orion lure as a shotgun bait way out back center. This bait is twice the distance of your longest rigger bait. I offer a few other lure heads to help fill your spread if needed
I've caught wahoo on every lure I make so if you wanted to try a few others I have, you know you're not limited to just previous mentioned lures. I also sell lure kits with bags ready to fish so all you have to do is clip in and go.
i know I'm not the only lure guy out there but I can guarantee my lures will put meat on the table! Check out my website Tailwalkerlures.com or you can hit me up on Facebook or instagram.

Let me know if I can help more.
 

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We've had good luck trolling near the Whitman tug in years past. Caught wahoo, sailfish, and lost a nice billfish last November that just about spooled a 30wide with power pro. Work this area and the edge where the depths range from 160-250. If you have the ability to make it to the nipple, it's a productive area as well. Look for rips or weed lines throughout all these areas and work both sides while trolling. Sometimes rips won't always hold weeds or debris but the easiest way to spot them is they look like a smooth "roadway" in the water where both sides are rough and the "roadway" is as calm as can be. Also,always keep your eyes peeled for floating debris. Can't tell you how many times we ran accross something the size of a cooler lid and ended up with several mahi or a couple wahoo.

If you're looking to troll the edge I can hook you up with some killer baits. I'm the owner of Tailwalker Lures out of the Destin area. If you're targeting wahoo you can go about it two ways. High speed is option 1 using my Fury and Fury XL. Fury can be pulled up to 15 knots and the big brother Fury XL up to 20 knots, both without a trolling weight, to help reduce the need for a wire man because of the heavy trolling weight and long leaders. These will help you cover a ton of ground and not often will a wahoo resist a bait he thinks will get away.
Option 2 you can slow down to a 7-8 knot trolling speed and go with my Hustler or Thunder Jet lures. These are both cup faced lures that make one hell of a smoke trail. I would run both of these off the short left and right corners of the boat. One is 25-30 feet and the next is 40-45 feet on the opposite side. It's always worked best for me to zig zag my baits starting from the corner of the boat working to my outriggers. When you let the first bait out, watch the smoke trail from the bait you let out and where that trail ends will be the beginning of the next bait opposite side of the boat. I can draw a diagram if it would help. I would also try my Orion lure as a shotgun bait way out back center. This bait is twice the distance of your longest rigger bait. I offer a few other lure heads to help fill your spread if needed
I've caught wahoo on every lure I make so if you wanted to try a few others I have, you know you're not limited to just previous mentioned lures. I also sell lure kits with bags ready to fish so all you have to do is clip in and go.
i know I'm not the only lure guy out there but I can guarantee my lures will put meat on the table! Check out my website Tailwalkerlures.com or you can hit me up on Facebook or instagram.

Let me know if I can help more.
Headed out Sunday to try the Fury I bought from you at the OB show.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Welp we went out and we were pretty happy with what we accomplished. I was running in no sleep as we got in at 9pm and had a lot of boat stuff to get together rigging all the rods and gathering equipment. Then I also took the responsibility to rig the outriggers by myself so that we could use them. Well between all of these things and spending a good while entering spots on the gps when 5am rolled around I had just finished my last chore and we were ready to head out.

We decided to run all the way out to Mingo Ridge to try and get some beeliners. The first thirty minutes were very successful with some real nice mingo coming up. We started to struggle keeping the boat over the schools as we are pretty darn new at all this and it seemed like that really started to make us struggle to get bites. Picked up an amaco jack on a jig then had something big take the hook off of my Shimano butterfly jig. Guess I’ll have to learn how to tie on my own for those. Caught 7 mingo and the amaco and decided to pick up and run to around the Ozark to troll for wahoo and blackfin. We were trolling a daisy chained jet head on one rigger a black and red tuna feather in the other. A black and red Yozuri Bonita on a flat about 50ft back and a cd30 about 75 back in the other. After about fifteen minutes of trolling around the Ozark left rigger goes. By the time I say keep the boat in gear and get in the rod the right rigger goes and simultaneously the Bonita goes. 3 fish on and only 3 people in the boat. We should have had a camera to record the craziness especially when we realized they were blackfins and we frantically began trying to hold multiple rods and leader fish in while someone else gaffs. Welp two black fins and a Bonita later we were all grinning ear to ear. We trolled for about another hour and a half and decided to turn her for home happy with out days catch, especially as the first time we’ve really done it.

Thanks all for all of your help!
 

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Have fished the Edge often for the past 10 years. First thing I learned: Get a wreck anchor. Second thing: Get an anchor ball.

We anchor up on a good show and put out the chum bag. Squid and bonito chunks for eaters (Mingo, Lane, triggers) and rubys for AJs. Fly-lines with pinfish will catch a king or blackfin.

Sharks abound, but sometimes a wahoo, sailfish, or mahi will surprise you.

Can be a great place to fish or can skunk you. Just be prepared to move around a bit. Did I mention the anchor ball?
 
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