SportFishing and Charters Forum - How to fish Weedlines

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View Full Version : How to fish Weedlines


TeamBalla
11-14-2008, 04:42 AM
I was out fishing last week. While running to the reef I came across a nice sized weedline. Approx 350'X50'. Through out some live bait rigged on a kingfish rig & 2 Silver spoons. Trolled the outside of it. But no luck.

45' of water, hard bottom. I was hoping for some Mahi Mahi but no luck.

What am I doing wrong? Wrong bait? Trolling to close/far?


Bullshipper
11-14-2008, 06:32 AM
Not all of them hold fish.

We troll pline skirts splashing on the top or rapalas cd magnums about 20 feet away from the paddies to get multiple hook ups pior to trying live bait.

Marlin009
11-14-2008, 07:21 AM
I wish we had Mahi in that close. Don't think you're doing anything wrong. If they are there and hungry, they will eat most anything. I have seen schoolies on one occasion while grouper fishing in that depth but I think around here we need to be in more like 100+. Also, when I was out last weekend, the water was about 69 degrees. I think they prefer warmer water. Summertime would be the best shot around here to find them.


Shin-Dig
11-14-2008, 10:14 AM
there are two kinds of weed lines-ones that hold bait and ones that don't. The small bait and life that you find under the weed lines is the basis of the food chain. The smaller fish attract bigger fish and those bigger fish attract even larger fish.

The weed lines that have bait swimming under them or near them will attract other fish to complete the food chain and makes it worth fishing.

The weed lines that have no sign of life at that moment will attact the life, usually at some point, but if you do not see anything do not spend too much time on it. With that said, just because the bait is not there now...does not mean that life will not show up in an hour so don't write it off entirely.

If you see birds on a weed line-there is life. Other things to consider are the waters depth, water temperature, and which side of the weed to fish...but that is another thread.

Prop Blast
11-14-2008, 11:29 AM
You're not going to find Mahi-Mahi/dorado/dolphin in that close off the coast of west central Florida; at least not this time of year. In the Jul/Aug/Sep timeframe it's possible, but unlikely as the water's too dirty usually. Once you get out to 60-90' of water, your odds go up.

Weedlines form along current edges. What I'll do is is go up one side and down the other, looking for the side with the cleaner water -- that's where I'll do my fishing.

How did you have your baits rigged? Wire or mono? I don't use anything heavier than #4 wire for the most part. Keep your hooks small too.

Were you marking bait along the weedline? If not, there won't be any Kings/Spanish/Cobia there. Sometimes a place will look like it should be packed with fish, but there aren't any ;?

PB

richardbowe
11-29-2008, 08:34 PM
you will never catch mahi mahi around a weed line in that close.......you have to at least be in 80 feet of water or on the edge of the ocean

HullSlap
11-30-2008, 05:29 AM
Been fishing west central Florida for nearly 40 years and I've never seen Dolphin/Mahi of any size around a weedline in 45' of water particularly during winter. I usually see them in 80'+ during the summer. You'll occasionally see King and Spanish Mackerel crashing bait around the weeds during fall and spring, but I usually just look for schooling baitfish not weedlines. Scan the horizon for a tight flock of birds hovering and diving at the surface. Look for fish crashing at the surface under them. Run to that spot and get a lure or bait in the water. If you don't catch a King or Mackerel in a couple of minutes, look for the birds again and repeat. The Kingfish were really scattered and moving fast like this the last time I was out.

Good luck!

krisis7
11-30-2008, 05:40 AM
richardbowe - 11/29/2008 11:34 PM

you will never catch mahi mahi around a weed line in that close.......you have to at least be in 80 feet of water or on the edge of the ocean

We do catch them that close here on the East coast of Florida at times. I have cuaght a 40 lb bull in 45 ft and several smaller ones trolling for Kingfish ans Sailfish. But it is only 3 miles from deeper water. Also in the Keys it goes from a couple of hundred feet to 24 ft real quick, withing a few hundred yards and they have been caught up on the bank aong with sails. It all depends on the area.

Jack Hexter
11-30-2008, 10:30 AM
Several variables we are looking at here. First is water temp. Off the west coast of Florida, right now, water temp is upper 60's, way too cold for dolphin who prefer water near the 70's & 80's. As stated above, July, Aug and September are prime time for dolphin on this coast. Water temp is much higher then. Second is water depth. Again, off West Central Florida, deeper is better - I've seen a rare dolphin in as close as 70' off Anclote, but if I were targeting them, I'd want to be in at least 100' Off the east coast, I've caught them in 50' when they swam up my chum line while I was yellowtailing, but deep water was less then 1 mile away and it's not a usual occurrence. The third variable is the kind of grass that made up the weedline. Most grass, especially this time of year of the West Coast of Florida is what I call bay grass. You did not say, but if I had to guess, this is the type of grass line you found. This is dead or floating turtle grass or stringy type grass that is not conducive to holding bait that attracts dolphin. The type of grass you want for dolphin fishing is sargussum or sargasso http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/art2005/1019album/1019sargassumsm.jpg

Basically, you were fishing in the wrong area at the wrong time of year, on the wrong structure, and expecting to find a gold mine. And then you can find the "Mother of all weedlines and come up empty. ;?
http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/post?cmd=tshow&id=809969

markm
12-01-2008, 07:52 AM
Our Weedline strategy is as follows:

1. troll the weedline parallel to the weed both in close and far off the weedline. We usually pull surface baits for dolphin and the planer rod for deep fish such as wahoo. Troll both sides a couple of times before giving up.

2. Then break out the chum and pull right up to the weed and put some over board then we use the jigging gear and and see if we can get a bite. May also sabiki some bait if the line has good bait marks on the fishfinder.

3. Weed wacking is next. This tactic is best with tons of weed clumps and tossed salad. 3-4 Cedar plugs trolled at 8 knts. The plugs become "weedless" at this speed and the dolphin or wahoo can't stand it. Zig zag across the weedline with the plugs and hold-on.

4. If you get a hook up in any method add chum and plain hooks with chunk baits behind the hooked fish. Jigs for wahoo and chunks for dolphin. This can lead to bailing.

This strategy does not always work and we usuall stick with whatever step is producing fish. however the previous posters are right water temps, depth, clarity, color, and weed/debris type are important in determining whether gamefish will be present.
MM

jaybyrd83ecu
12-02-2008, 08:38 PM
markm - 12/1/2008 10:52 AM

Our Weedline strategy is as follows:

1. troll the weedline parallel to the weed both in close and far off the weedline. We usually pull surface baits for dolphin and the planer rod for deep fish such as wahoo. Troll both sides a couple of times before giving up.

2. Then break out the chum and pull right up to the weed and put some over board then we use the jigging gear and and see if we can get a bite. May also sabiki some bait if the line has good bait marks on the fishfinder.

3. Weed wacking is next. This tactic is best with tons of weed clumps and tossed salad. 3-4 Cedar plugs trolled at 8 knts. The plugs become "weedless" at this speed and the dolphin or wahoo can't stand it. Zig zag across the weedline with the plugs and hold-on.

4. If you get a hook up in any method add chum and plain hooks with chunk baits behind the hooked fish. Jigs for wahoo and chunks for dolphin. This can lead to bailing.

This strategy does not always work and we usuall stick with whatever step is producing fish. however the previous posters are right water temps, depth, clarity, color, and weed/debris type are important in determining whether gamefish will be present.
MM

Ditto... for #1, we usually switch to some small squid tubes or small nakeds all but a couple poles, leave a big bait or two in the drink though too.

for #2, if you have ballyhoo from previous trips, have it chunked up for this or use squid.



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