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anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

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anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

Old 02-24-2007, 07:44 AM
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Default anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

I heard it is a great place with lots of fish and little pressure.
It's about 100 miles out from st. pete
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05-06-2020, 09:17 AM
jackcall555
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Default elbow wahoo, tuna and mahi

Left Sunday out of Johns Pass and headed to the elbow for an overnighter with my wife, kids and my dad. I went up in the tower about 10 mile before we got to area I planned to start trolling and spotted something floating in the distance. Checked it out and ended up being a few bouys tangled in rope and something like carpet wrapped in the mes as well. There were some nice tripletail underneath, but we couldn't get a bait past the swarm of runners and rudderfish. After a few minutes a huge school of mahi appeared. Eventually we switched from cut shrimp and sardines to jigs so we could cast away from the boat to avoid the runners and get the mahi hooked up. We caught all we wanted and left them eating. We got to out near the elbow and tried to do some bottom fishing but couldn't get away from the sharks. Finally moved 6 miles and got away from the sharks but couldn't get a bait past the red snapper. We trolled for a couple hours at dusk and had one knock down but no hook up. Anchored for the night and got some sleep. Trolled in the same area for a couple hours in the morning. We had a cut off on blue and white islander with a ballyhoo, several hits on my go to daisy chain cedar plug rig, and finally got a nice blackfin on an orange and black islander with ballyhoo behind 48oz trolling weight. About 9:30 we decided to run out to the 72 fathom peaks area. About 8 miles before we got there we lost a turbo. Limited to trolling speed we set the autopilot for johns pass and put the trolling spread back out. Not much action until we got back near the elbow. Within a half mile of where we got the tuna in the morning, the right long rigger goes off with what ends up being a decent wahoo. It was another blue and white islander with a ballyhoo... same set up as the cutoff from the morning. It was a long slow ride in. Just a few bonita, a barracuda and a few unknown knockdowns the rest of the way. Finally pulled into Johns Pass about 10:30. Kids were absolute troopers. Yesterday my new 200 gallon fuel bladder arrived. Ready for another adventure as soon as the engine issue gets sorted out.






Old 02-24-2007, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

Some people do with downriggers, from what I've seen, I mainly just bottom fish for grouper.
Old 02-24-2007, 08:16 AM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

In the middle grounds or all over out deep?
Old 02-24-2007, 09:40 AM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

There is some trolling to be done out there. More towards the Elbow and the Steps. But, be prepared for a lonnnggg run out and back. Wahoo, yellowfin, blackfin, dolphin, sails and some marlin can be caught there. Also look at "The Loop". Kinda the Gulf's version of the east coast's "Gulf Stream".
Old 02-24-2007, 10:20 AM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

Maybe we should cruise out together sometime? I have a 34 yellowfin CC. On a nice day I can cruise at around 40. I would like to start hitting that area when the weather gets right.
Old 02-25-2007, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

Hot bite out there last season double digit shots. I was working on a boat in St. thomas and my dad and them were posting better numbers than many boats in St t at the time.
Old 02-26-2007, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

do you know what area they were fishing? I am out of st. pete. I know where the elbow is but where are the steps. I would love to get a general starting point with gas prices the way they are!
Old 02-28-2007, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

Mrkarn, do you take your 207 out to the Middle Grounds? I just bought one and was thinking that the Middle Grounds was out of my range.
Old 02-28-2007, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

The Steps and Elbow are fished out of Destin (I've done it many times) but I didn't know guys came out of St. Pete for it..... they can be very fishy.....
Old 02-28-2007, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

We had lots of billfish bites(ie every trip), wahoo, and dolphin, and saw tuna at the elbow- released blues, whites, and a sailfish, and i hear you can catch swordfish at the elbow at night but look more to the spur and steps for swordies,
Old 02-28-2007, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

From Clearwater to the "Steps" you are looking at a 150 mile (SW) one way trip. I've fished the area many times but always on multiple day trips. The "Elbow" is about half way out there. Considerably closer out of Ft. Meyers.

You'd do better to subscribe to Rolfers and make the trip under optimum conditions. Consider fishing the "Old Salt Loop Tournaments" when there will be lots of boats in the area. Organizers of the Loop Tournament sometimes have an offshore "gas station" where you can take on fuel. This "gas station" is a big shrimp boat with lots of drums of fuel aboard.

I've seldom seen any better rips than in the "Steps" area.

Safety first. You'd definitely be better off to trailer your boat to Venice Louisiana. With marine fuel costs, if you fish 3 or 4 days out of Venice, LA, you will save money, be safer and fish the best sport fishing area in the US. Another plus is sleeping in an airconditioned room that isn't rolling at night.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

I wonder if there is more than 1 elbow? The one on my chart is about due west of Tampa Bay maybe 80 miles. I do use Hilton Navigator to monitor the loop, temps and current. What is the lat and long you guys have for the elbow and steps?
I have 330 gals of gas with twin 250 outboards. 150 miles one way is out of my range for sure.
Old 03-01-2007, 11:22 AM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

We fish both these areas out of Orange Beach. The Steps are around 29 19.00 N, 87 40.00W. The Elbow is around 29 39.00 N, 87 17.00 W.
Old 03-01-2007, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

We do some trips to the Elbow every year from St Pete. We catch Wahoo, Tuna, Dolphin, Snapper & Grouper all the time. I'm sure if we spent more time at it we would see more Billfish also.
Old 03-01-2007, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

I thought we were talking about different areas. Our elbow is around 27-47 & 84-11
Not sure if our area is as fishy as yours?
Old 03-01-2007, 02:16 PM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

Not familiar with your area, so I can't make a comparison. Both of these are usually productive. The Elbow is basically the west wall of the DeSoto Canyon. Very good billfishing last year; we raised at least one nearly every trip. Wahoo and blackfins very commonly found.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

I am pretty sure this is the elbow..and a good spot to fish.. 27 41.28 N 84 10.94 W.. Someone is going to take me out there before I have to go to the old folks home.
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

I saw both elbow areas on Hilton Navigator (competitor of Roffs only lots cheaper) and yours is way up north.
I will try ours this spring and summer and hope the $900 in fuel is worth it??
Old 03-01-2007, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: anyone trolling the steps or elbow or middle grounds in the gulf?

I hear a lot of people say they find good fishing going 100 miles south west of Ft. Desoto.. I had a chance to fish the Mexican Pride and the Pillsbury and there was plenty of action.. I know a extra 50 miles west has to have some hot spots.. I bet if you ask around some you can come up with some numbers that will work for you. Gas is high alright.. I think it you had the safety equipment ..Gettiing out there and camping our a few days would make the trip worth the run. just my two cents worth .. I am sure you have a lot of plans kicking around.. .. Just stay safe.
Old 07-09-2011, 05:52 PM
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Default

We're heading out to the middle grounds this weekend and the Elbow next weekend. MG trip is for the snapper, and red grouper.

The Elbow trip is what I'm really looking forward to. Full moon wahoo bite, hopefully with a side of BF tuna, Mahi and Sailfish.

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