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Hey guys new to the forum new to fishing Destin resident now 8 years (stationed at Hurlburt) I recently got into the boat club at legacy and I am thinking my max off shore range with the single outboards are about 35 mile... puts the edge within my reach but just reading the forums has brought up a couple questions.1 when it comes to trolling for wahoo can I troll at a lower speed to include dolphin or do I need to keep the speed up to get the wahoo to hit and the same goes for tuna trolling. I’d like to maximize my chances of catching a variety of fish out there. 2 bottom fishing the edge are you all using your fish finders primarily for this or just the terrain features that come up clearly in google maps I’d like to get on some grouper if at all possible and I don’t want to have to venture much further than 35 miles, thanks
 

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Hey guys new to the forum new to fishing Destin resident now 8 years (stationed at Hurlburt) I recently got into the boat club at legacy and I am thinking my max off shore range with the single outboards are about 35 mile... puts the edge within my reach but just reading the forums has brought up a couple questions.1 when it comes to trolling for wahoo can I troll at a lower speed to include dolphin or do I need to keep the speed up to get the wahoo to hit and the same goes for tuna trolling. I’d like to maximize my chances of catching a variety of fish out there. 2 bottom fishing the edge are you all using your fish finders primarily for this or just the terrain features that come up clearly in google maps I’d like to get on some grouper if at all possible and I don’t want to have to venture much further than 35 miles, thanks
I am no expert but here is my thoughts and experience. Set the speed according to what makes your spread swim right. Depending on what you're dragging, your speed will likely need to adjust accordingly. Wahoo will eat a flat line live bait or a high speed bait so play with your speed and see what works for you. I don't know if there is a wrong answer or a right answer.

Scope the terrain on Google Earth. Pin a few marks, put those marks in your GPS and troll them. Mark more bottom spots along the way. You're gonna have to pay your dues and burn some cash(gas) trolling to find good marks.
We troll a big sweeping s pattern along the break, then sweep back making another big sweeping s pattern covering new ground. This lets you troll baits while finding good marks.

I am still getting acquainted with fishing out of Destin but this has let us find plenty of decent spots along the Edge.
 

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Sounds like you're just getting started with the offshore trolling game. Let me share something with you that really got me early on.

Different spreads/lures need to be trolled at different speeds. For instance I've got a big skirted lure that only has it's action at 9knts. any slower/faster and it just doesn't work right. Now I also like pulling ballyhoo. If I troll a ballyhoo naked at 9knts it's going to be shredded in less than 20mins. I've had better luck with the ballyhoo at 7knts.

Early on when I was just getting started I would try to pull a couple of arificials, a couple of dead baits, a couple of feathers...etc my goal was like yours 'mix it up' so I have a better chance of catching all the species. Bottom line, it didn't work well. By trying to catch everything, i ended up catching nothing (or very few fish).

Now, when i'm pulling dead bait, the entire spread is dead bait, when i'm pulling lures, the entire spread is lures, when i'm pulling live bait the entire spread is live bait.

Learn the speeds your lures/bait want to be pulled and cater the entire spread to that speed.

On any given day pretty much any fish will hit any spread.... but if there are one or two lures not doing their job (spinning/dragging...etc) I'm convinced you chase fish away.

Good Luck with it!!
 

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I think dedicated wahoo fishermen high-speed troll to avoid other species and to cover water. Wahoo will hit at any speed. If you want to maximize your catch keep her between 7 and 10 knots. I also would run a deep-diving plug or two (Rapala Magnum for example) to maximize your chances. Those lures will stay well under your top stuff to help avoid tangles. Good luck!
 

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Wow all good stuff guys thanks! I think the 7-10 range is where I will start the lures I got are optimized for that speed and I plan on trolling some ballyhoo to try and get a tuna if able. We will see how it goes!
 

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Neptune calls me "Daddy"
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If you slow troll, add a hot pink Stretch 30 to your spread with a wire leader. Wahoo candy at slow speed. But Mahi won't touch it.

As you troll the "edge" criss cross back and forth looking for structure. Normally fish ( snapper and grouper) will hang out just on the high side of the drop off.

Jim

And I have caught some nice grouper on a Stretch 30... though inshore in 30 to 40' of water.
 

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Master of Disaster
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Sounds like- or looks like you got that Wahoo thing down! Did it take much trial and error to dial in on the hoo? Nice looking little skirt you caught him on. Did you use anything with it?
I love bottom fishing the Edge for mingos and almaco jack- and keep a pitching bait handy or keep a drift line out, because you never know what else will come swimming by! LOL
I started off using sonar to locate the "drop-off" across various locations, now I can almost draw a line across the screen showing the edge. Also, a few years ago I invested in a GPS/ remote trolling motor, so I can "spot lock" on a promising location, and "jog around" a bit to find that sweet spot! No pulling and resetting an anchor for me! LOL We usually use dropper loop / chicken rigs and keep a variety of baits- fresh squid, cigar minnows, bonito chunks, etc. I can usually find some nice sized mingos there- so don't worry about trying to keep the smaller ones. I've run across some big porgies there, ruby lips, grouper, even AmberJack as well as the Almaco Jacks.
 

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Well guys it all worked out first time out chasing wahoo and it was a success!!
Great job Jon! I'm glad I could help you catch your first!

Thanks for the fish/lure pic! That wahoo did a number on those new skirts. Let me know when you want to bring the two lures by to get them reskirted. Be glad to help.

If any of you other anglers want to step your trolling game up a notch send me a message or visit my website at tailwalkerlures.com. Would be glad to help

Here's a pic of what our lures looked like after the wahoo this weekend.
 

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