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Discussion Starter #1
Ok here goes, I just started getting intosaltwater fishing and it's not as easy asI thought. Just got where I can afford it. I got a bigger boat this year so I could brave to go further out. I get on here everyday to read what you guys have to post and got a lot of great info and good spots from you guys but every time I go out my luck stinks. I still have a hell of a time though !!!! I go to the Oriskany, coal barges, rock piles, bridge rubble, you name it I'm there. Every time no luck. I bottom fish mostly haven't got enough knowledge to troll yet. What the heck am I doin' wrong? What do you guys use for bait and frozen or live, how do you rig your line for bottom fishing. I know a lot of this depends on what your fishin' for any help would be greatly appreciated. :bowdown
 

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Your right,we really need more info as to what your wanting to target so we can steer you in the right direction as how to setup.When i am bottom bumping for snapper i use a carolina rig with around 4 ounces of weight and a #6 to #8 hook.I prefer live cigar minnows,but i always take one or two boxes of frozen just in case.They like squid also.Give us some more info on what you want to target and we can help you a little more.
 

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Mostly snapper, and grouper I have been using frozen bait though squid, cigar minows, and shrimp. Never used live bait yet cause I didn't know where to get it and can't master the cast net yet. A few people have already e-mailed me with info on where to get live bait so next time out I'm gonna get some. I live in Milton but recently found the launch off scenic hwy.and I was looking for places that sale live bait in the area of the launch. As far as the rig. setup I was way off until you guys set me in the right direction.
 

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One of the best things you can do is go on a fishing trip with a friend. Don't worry about getting the numbers. Just Shut-up listen and learn. You will find everyone has their own special way to boat the big one. Some will bump the bottom while others will swear by working the column.

You should think about investing in a cast net. If you don't want to do that you can visit the bait boat on the way out of the pass. Live bait will always out fish the frozen stuff.

Leader choice is also important. You want to use the smallest size possible. Fluorocarbon if you have it.

Good luck!!! I learn best by watching others then taking the techniques I think are the best.
 

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Trolling isnt that difficult. I never had anyone teach me. I just stuck a rod in the rod holder facing the back and put a strech 30 on it and I get something damn near everytime. My sure fire lure is the Red/ white strech.

As far as bottom fishing goes. Big fish like big bait. Instead of buying live bait try this:

Find a spot and anchor up. Start with small hooks and the squid you got. Send it to the bottom and reel it up a couple cranks. Something small will most likley hit it. It will bore the big fish but they will watch. Reel up what you catch. If it is legal use it as bait. Move to a bigger hook and send it down, reel up a couple cranks and wait for it. If you cant get anything to react to it reel it up a little at a time. Bigger fish are usualy higher up in the column. If you bring it up slow and cant get a bite, bring it all the way back into the boat and butterfly it. ( Cut the meat not the guts from the tail toward the gill but just enough to make it flappy.) Dont go all the way to the gill. Stop a little from the fin. send it down and HOLD ON!!! The bigger the bait, the bigger the fish! Sometime it takes a little longer for the big ones to bite but watching the little ones eat makes them hungry and territorial.That is why I like to start fishing the little ones first. Also remember if you are using a J-hook you have to set it and if you are on mono and in deep water there is a lot of strech. If youuse a circle hook just reel and the hook will do the work for you. Good luck.
 

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Forgot to add. I use no less than 6oz usualy 8oz or you may get cleaned off before you get to the bottom. I rig a fishfinder set up with about 4 foot of leader for bigger fish. FOr smaller I rig up a bottom dropper with 2 hooks and a pyramid weight on the bottom. I still use either 6 or 8 oz. Current will also play a big part in where you bait lands. Too little weight and you are off the rig by a long shot. watch your line as it drops and see if it starts drifting off. If it does figure how that will be on the bottom. If it drifts a lot use more weight. Also on the trolling thing. I never got bit off by a king but they can and you lose a $10 lure. You may want to use wire leader.
 

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Jim T's sworn enemy!
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Maybe take someone out fishin with ya that knows differant techniques. Post in the take a sorry azz for a ride section and someone similar to me,may take ya up on an offer to go fishing on a boat! Trolling ain't that hard either,again first hand experience face to face is much easier than trying to type what to do and will stick further in your brain:mmmbeer
 
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live bait is overrated for snapper. biggest snapper i have ever caught or seen caught was on either strips or massive chunks of dead bait. for grouper, it's my #1 choice, followed closely by a butterflied northern mackerel or bonita. Noone fishing with jigs can outfish me on a rig for amberjack if I have a variety of live bait. Not trying to boast, just trying to point out that live bait is king for amberjacks. Also, if you're workin the most public spots (which it sounds like you are), I wouldn't have your expectations too high. Troll one day over the edge and just watch your bottomfinder and start markin spots. Every time I run out, I probably snag around 6 new bottom spots, just from watchin my bottom finder.
 

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i agree with the above post. a good bottom machine can be your best friend.a lot of the areas that you are trying to fish is not the bait rig etc it is the fact that the areas that you fishing are just to over fished.
 

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bonita dan (10/16/2007)Maybe take someone out fishin with ya that knows differant techniques. Post in the take a sorry azz for a ride section and someone similar to me,may take ya up on an offer to go fishing on a boat! Trolling ain't that hard either,again first hand experience face to face is much easier than trying to type what to do and will stick further in your brain:mmmbeer
You can waste a lot of time,gas and get very frustrated learning everything on your own. I wish I had a forum like this when I started fishing to save a lot of "lessons" learned the hard way.Learn by others mistakes because you won't live long enough to make them all yourself. Take Dan's advice as well as the others but take a guy that knows what he's doing and do yourself a big favor. Click the link below and offer a free trip in exchange for a few pointers and you won't be dissapointed.Or, you can contact one of the Captains on here and see what they would charge to go out with you on your boat using your stuff. Nice rig by the way! It looks capable of about any type of fishing offshore you could do in the area.

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Fluorocarbon leader is not a nessessity but an option. Millions of fish were caught before they invented fluoro. Use around 8 oz of lead egg sinker use a big swivel tie on around 4' to 5' of leader 40 or 50 lb test inshore and 80 to 100 in deeper water. I use a 7/0 or 8/0 inline wide gap owner circle hook with hugh success. Like expressed earlier live bait works best for grouper and butterflied is secondbest.and chunk or strips ( fresh cut not frozen ) for snapper. You basically filet the fish on both sides without cutting through the skin or meaton the head side and the tail side and remove the backbone just cut down the backbone on both sides. I preferhooking from lower to upper through the lips and leave as much as possible of the hook so you can bury the hook when mister big hits. Some people prefer to hook the fish through the eyes but if you have current ( which is more times than not the dead fish will twist, upright it looks like it is swimming. PM me if you need more info and good luck.
 

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You guys have some really good ideas and advice but I think you made it when you said take someone with experience with me. I work offshore " fuel transport" and I'm gone till next thursday 25th, but when I get back I have to take you guys advice and just post aFREE ridein exchange for KNOWLEDGE! I got three weeks off if I get home on the 25th so plenty of time for fishin'. I appreciate all the help you guys give it's great to have a place like this to go for information and where people take the time to help:bowdown
 

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I'm a big believer in scaling down your tackle size especially on the overfished public spots. Those fish have seen thousands of rigs dropped down near them.I use the smallest weight I can use and still have my line around the boat, the smallest hook that I can get away with the bait I'm using and 30-40lb fluorocarbon leader. Also I like to have several different baits. Some days the fish want nothing but live pinfish, other days they want squid or menhaden or cut bait. You just never know till you get out there. But the best advice is to take someone with you or go on their boat and pay attention to what they are doing and go from there.
 

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Im with "blue hoo" the best spots are found trolling anywhere from the edge to the 360 drop.just watch the bottom machine intently the smallest of things hold fish and lots of them, in that depth they dont mark big if you mark something that looks like live bottom and some fish in the lower colum, Thats what your looking for .Due to our new regs on red snapper 2 fish doesnt take long at all, we usually stop on our way out before trolling at one of our deep water snapper spots in about 240 foot to get a quick limit of snapper before pulling lures.We mark anywhere from 3-6 spots every trip and the best thing about these spots almost nobody fishes them and if they do, they get there catch and move on to the next spot.We use all butterfly jigs or similar styles to fish that depth .snapper are usually the target. Find a {virgin} spot and it will last for years to come as long as you dont over fish it. I learned real fast that it is worth the time and gas to pass up the public spots and make the 20 mile run to the edge and beyond.Im just writing what works well for me and my father it might not be the route you want to go but its just nice to get a limit of snapper in a couple of mins then have the whole day to chase marlin, wahoo tuna, TROPHIES. Hope this helped. TEAM RECESS
 

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Lets go sometime. Your boat or mine.Got lots of tackle, reels,so forth.Been many many many times.Maybe ill learn a few things along the way.Pm me,me and my son fish all the time.

Scott
 

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JOHNJOHN205 (10/16/2007)a lot of the areas that you are trying to fish is not the bait rig etc it is the fact that the areas that you fishing are just to over fished.
well, it is also important to have a good rig. i've seen a few people out there on the wrecks fishing with those nasty looking walmart double-drop rigs, the ones full of hardware (clasps everywhere, swivels, crimps). make your tackle hard for the fish to see and your success will be much better. it is also very important to use your bottom machine andposition yourselfon good bottom.
 

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I started like you. Didn't know anything about fishing. Couldn't tell the difference between a bonita and a blackfin.

The best thing I ever did was go on a party boat a few times. Inexpensive, and I learned lots. Ask questions, most mates are very helpful. Another good way to learn is invite another fisherman to go with you. Sea-r-cy
 

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true-king,

that is not what i meant exactly. i personally make my own rigs. it is second nature for me to think that anyone whom knows what they are doing would not use those piece of crap rigs
 

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I don't know much about fishing, but I would like to learn. I will help pay for gas and grub. let me know when you plan on going out. I am game. My goal is to reel in a king fish.
 
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