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Discussion Starter #1
Good day!

I am still on track for my late May 2day fishing trip in Pensacola! Trailering my 27' cruiser down from TN and staying on board at local marina.

Prep questions for you local guys:

1) Suggested bait & rigs for 3-6 miles out? Willing to catch anything worth eating.

2) I have a Lowrance 5 hdi. Suggestions on wreck, and way point data card purchases?

3) Other than, food, water, typical safety gear, tips for packing you guys have?

4) Things to be concerned about??
 

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Squid
Live bait
Plenty of spots

I wouldn't buy any unless you just wanted all of them

Std equip should do ya


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Make or buy plenty of chicken rigs and Knocker rigs using circle hooks from 3/0 to 6/0 - nothing worse than getting into a good bite and having to stop and make up rigs. Make or buy Carolina rigs with 6/0 to 12/0 circle hooks to drop live bait. King rigs to lay out behind the boat always get the heart going when they take off. Sabiki rigs to catch the bait (the bait boat may be out by then).
Squid and cigar minnows make good bait for most fish, catch pin fish in your marina while sipping cocktails getting ready to go. Live shrimp are good if you are going to chum. Sinkers are needed for all the rigs except the King rigs.

Bring along some jigs for AJs.

Gotcha's for Spanish.
 

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Why limit yourself to 3-6 miles? Honestly there are just a few reefs in that distance and frankly a keeper snapper or trigger will be hard to come by on them. Possible but not a guarantee.

If I was going through the trouble of towing a boat that far I wouldn't limit myself to 6 miles. Hell I don't think it'd be worth it unless you have a 30 mile range.

As for things to consider, the Mass is close but the buoy is way off and you can hit it. Approach with extreme caution!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Limit is just a baseline. First time out of the bay with my 27'. If I feel comfy with the conditions we may push out 8-10 miles.
 

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27' is a big boat, of course it all comes down to how its designed though.

I use to run 15+ miles in a 16' boston whaler. Stupid, yeah but she was reliable and we watched the weather carefully.

The reason why I say this is because IMO one has to decide what his/her hassle to reward ratio is. Me PERSONALLY knowing the fishing around our area, I wouldnt put up with the hassle of towing a big boat very far to fish very close in.

I understand youre sleeping on it and really its about the whole experience but IF you really were just staying within 6 miles of the pass I didnt want you to get your hopes up. If you can bounce out 15 miles it REALLY opens up when it comes to the number of spots. Hell you couldnt fish them all in a long weeked! Where as you could fish all of the public reefs under six miles from the pass in a half day!
 

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State snapper season will be open Sat & Sun in May, so look for structure inside of 9 miles. Search this site for public numbers and have a good time.
 

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search the web for spots . There are a couple pages that will give you numbers and depth. The gulf should have Kings in the area during May and Kings can be caught trolling or using live bait. Bottom bumping can provide snapper, trigger or grouper. I don't remember where you said you were staying ? The reason people saying you might want to extend your distance is simply. Between 3 miles and 9 miles there is little difference on sea conditions, but a big difference between depth and available wrecks.
If you need to ask something specific, you can either PM me here or call 850 857 1039 ed
 

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if u are set on staying close build up a pile of mackerel rigs both live bait and dead bait search here for directions and do that just off the beach a mile or so or check inshore wrecks u will catch kings in may bonus fish are common pretty common to catch cobia dolphin blackfin tuna sails and even a wahoo or 2 are always caught close that time of year and if u bottom fish dont waste money buying chicken rigs or knocker rigs do a little research and build your own on various line sizes use florocarbon what u do want to have is sabiki rigs to catch bait i would have 30 for 4 days fishing
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We plan on docking at any marina that will let me park my trailer and has shore power so we dont have to run the generator all night. I really appreciate the info guys! No I need no do some research on these rig types!
 

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For the king rigs grab:

A spool of 40lb 7 strand braided cable (non nylon coated)
Several 4x size 4 treble hooks
Some dusters (my favorites are the bomber J dusters in pink and blue/blue chrome)
A pack of small barrel swivels

Cut a piece of 7 strand about 30-36" in length. Snell on one treble hook at one end. Then slide your second treble down the other end of the wire. Make sure you lay the wire on the "flat" side of the treble (youll easily see what Im talking about with the hook in your hand). Snell that hook 3-6" above the first one depending on your bait size. Some people will use a 1/0 or 2/0 live bait hook here I just use the treble.

Then slide down your duster. Then on the free end put on your barrel swivel. I tie a figure 8 knot then finish it with several 90 degree barrel wraps. It took me about as long to type it out as it would make one!

Carolina rig is simple. Slide a 4-8oz egg weight up your main line, use the the appropriate weight for current/depth. Then add a bead or just tie on a bigger/heavier barrel then you would use for a king rig. I typically use 50-60lb fluro but if they are picky I will bump it down to 40lb. A 5/0-7/0 circle hook on the end of your leader. Again size depends on target/bait size.

A chicken rig is harder to type out but take you about 36-48" of 30-40lb mono/fluro. On one end make a loop. Go up a third and make another loop. Another third and make another loop and at the other end tie your barrel swivel. Collapse the loops and thread it through the eye of a 2-4/0 circle and bring the hook back through the loop securing it. On the loop at the very end do the same as you would with the hooks but use a 4-6oz bank sinker. Tie a barrel swivel on the the other end and tie that to your main line.

These three rigs are the bread and butter of nearshore fishing.

For a list of public wrecks go here:

http://www.mbtdivers.com/dive_sites.html

The reefs marked with ** are going to be in state waters and generally under 15 miles from the pass.

I do "for hire" trips as well. If you want to go out with me or any other guide your first trip out on your own boat I can almost assure you the rest of your trips solo will be MUCH more productive. My rates are cheap and you honestly will come out with some knowledge that you can use in all of your future trips. Feel free to shoot me a PM if youre interested.
 
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