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Bottom fishing out of southeast fl, help a rookie out.. PLS!

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Bottom fishing out of southeast fl, help a rookie out.. PLS!

Old 04-14-2014, 11:22 AM
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Default Bottom fishing out of southeast fl, help a rookie out.. PLS!

Okay so I have fished out of ft.laud and haulover growing up on my dad and uncles boat. Unfortunately they aren't around anymore, but I still love fishing and diving. I just bought my dusky in oct 2013. So far I can't seem to produce a decent fishing trip. I know what to do once I get the fish on, however that's the easy part . I have tried bottom fishing from 30-150 feet over what looks to be decent structure. I have tried getting numbers from online and nothing. I'm not sure if I'm anchoring in the right position. I could def get more in tune with my gps I just bought (lowrance elite). Im looking for the usual suspects grouper, mutton, YT, mangroves and at the deeper reefs and wrecks putting out a top line for dolphin , tuna and kings. Obviously time on the boat will do me the best but any pointers so I don't feel like I'm blind out there would help. I looked into the Miami mutton man but right now since I'm just getting started he is a little out of my price range. Any tips, pointers would greatly be appreciated. Does anyone recommend buying one of those hot spot chips?? I was told not to waste my money those spots are fished out but at the same time at least I would know I'm on top of good structure. Thanks for the help
Old 04-14-2014, 02:29 PM
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There's nothing wrong with fishing public numbers. And yes, wait until you are really familiar with all you're doing before you hire muttonman. He will definitely put you on fish, but you want your brain to be ready to absorb how and why he's doing what he does.

You don't mention what you're using for bait. Live bait is best and unless you know how to throw a cast net learn to use a sabiki rig. After that, cut bait then frozen bait then tipped jigs.

Chum...whether you're trying to get the YT's to come to you or trying to turn on a bite on the bottom...chum. Make it yourself...oats, canned mackeral, menhaden oil, some water. Make it in advance and freeze it or make right there on the boat. I use a mesh bag, not a fine mesh though, chum doesn't get out. I drop mine over board with a little 2lb dumbell in the bag if I want it on the bottom or near it. Chum...chum..chum...the fish will be there.

That said, in my opinion the number one thing you can do for yourself is learn to read hard bottom using your machine. Yes some machines read better than others but I've never seen one that doesn't do a decent job...once you know how to read it. If you search the interweb you'll find pretty much the same advice about how to set up your machine for good bottom display. You'll see what I mean when you do your search.

The NOAA has made all their charts downloadable to your laptop or desktop for free. Zoomed in to the right level you'll see areas that are marked H for Hard and CO for Coral. You have to look. On your side there are plenty. Plot those areas and other numbers you get and just go scouting. Leave your gear at home. Spend the day bottom-hunting, no fishing.

Go to floridagofishing.com, click the tab that says GPS, find your area and you can get all the public numbers and then some. Whether they're fished out or not...which they aren't...you can at least learn where the wrecks are, go scout them and see what they look like on your finder. Then, since you're there...check out areas around the wrecks.

Ask yourself questions like: Are there fish over the areas you think are good? You'll learn to change the range of your finder to maybe the bottom 20'. Are there fish there? Baitballs hovering? How does that bottom look on your finder compared to an area that isn't holding fish? How does that same ground look when you run over it at 20-25 versus 6?

Learn to read good bottom, use live bait when you can, chum.
Old 04-14-2014, 03:53 PM
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Arrow Local knowledge !!!

Start at your Local Tackle Shop....
A LOT of FREE info There.....
Sum of the Best Knowledge will come from the Head Boat Mates,
Make Friends with them, and
Your fishing trips,
will be Happy, Happy, Happy...
Remember,
there are Plenty of GOOD LOCAL FISHERMEN,
who don't have a BOAT,
that would LOVE to go fishing on YOUR BOAT...
Old 04-14-2014, 04:15 PM
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The shallow reefs off of Ft. Lauderdale are pretty tough fishing, even for seasoned anglers although you can get generally catch some Grunts, small Hind Groupers and various other small reef fish. Mutton snapper fishing in this area is tricky and the proper rigging/bait/ and locations need to be learned to have continuous success. Yellowtailing is also spotty, even with going through a lot of work anchoring and chumming.

Here is what I suggest for people starting out that want to catch some decent fish off of Ft; Lauderdale/Pompano.
Vermilions can be found near many of the public wrecks in 200-350' and if you can master drifting (sometimes power drifting) and fishing with a little heavier weight, this would be your best bet for catching dinner using 3-5 hook chicken rigs with small circle hooks and cut squid. You don't have to be on top of the wreck, just near it.
Old 04-15-2014, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pro251wa View Post

That said, in my opinion the number one thing you can do for yourself is learn to read hard bottom using your machine. Yes some machines read better than others but I've never seen one that doesn't do a decent job...once you know how to read it. If you search the interweb you'll find pretty much the same advice about how to set up your machine for good bottom display. You'll see what I mean when you do your search.

The NOAA has made all their charts downloadable to your laptop or desktop for free. Zoomed in to the right level you'll see areas that are marked H for Hard and CO for Coral. You have to look. On your side there are plenty. Plot those areas and other numbers you get and just go scouting. Leave your gear at home. Spend the day bottom-hunting, no fishing.

Go to floridagofishing.com, click the tab that says GPS, find your area and you can get all the public numbers and then some. Whether they're fished out or not...which they aren't...you can at least learn where the wrecks are, go scout them and see what they look like on your finder. Then, since you're there...check out areas around the wrecks.

Ask yourself questions like: Are there fish over the areas you think are good? You'll learn to change the range of your finder to maybe the bottom 20'. Are there fish there? Baitballs hovering? How does that bottom look on your finder compared to an area that isn't holding fish? How does that same ground look when you run over it at 20-25 versus 6?

Learn to read good bottom, use live bait when you can, chum.
Thanks for all of the great info , I'm going to study my machine so I know exactly what I'm looking at. I had my gps installed at bass pro, when I get the boat up on plane it doesn't read bottom and the depths are wrong. I'll be 3 miles offshore and it will say 1ft. I think I need to relocate my transducer, I just don't want to put more screws in he hull without knowing if that's the problem. I can throw a decent cast net and I keep sabikis on the boat my problem again is finding the bait. I need to go out like you said and just look for structure and learn the bottom and what to look for. Patience is going to be something I need to acquire.
Old 04-15-2014, 06:14 AM
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Skook that's not a bad idea, so far I'll just grab a friend that doesn't know squat about fishing or boating just so I have some company and an extra hand but having somebody that knows what they are doing would def be a huge help. I'm sure there is a spot on here I can find locals without a boat.

Conchydong I have been wanting to do this but also try vertical jigging some of these wrecks . Thanks for the advice .
Old 04-15-2014, 07:07 AM
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Fishing in Florida is very REGIONAL. The techniques used in South Florida (where you are) are different from South East (WPB to Stuart) and again NE FL (Jax/St. Aug). This goes for bottomfishing and offhshore for pelagics.

1. Learn your boat's electronics. If you haven't mastered them, you'll waste a tremendous amount of time. If your FF/Sonar's transducer is not installed properly, you'll do nothing but waste your time. If BPS installed it, I'll bet an easy $100 it wasn't. Since you asked about bottomfishing, learn how to set up the FF in the "Manual" mode. The "Auto" mode is useless for anything other than leaving the dock and clearing the inlet on your way to the fishing grounds. Learn how to set the following: Gain, Sensativity, and Bottomlock. Dedicate 2-3 days on the water to only learn your electronics -- it will pay huge dividends.

2. Finding spots. Nothing beats time on the water to do that. Period.

3. Tackle & Techniques. Visit a local tackle shop and buy the "Snapper & Grouper" and Bottomfishing Book/DVD from Florida Sportsman -- best $20 you'll spend. Also buy the FS Book on Baits and Rigging. Learn how to use a 3-way swivel. With the current there, it's an must for bottomfishing. Both are available at any tackle shop in Florida.

https://store.intermediaoutdoors.com...-%26-DVD-Combo


4. Live bait and fresh dead bait is essential. Greenbacks/Threadfins and Pilchards/Scaled Sardines.

Good luck,

PB
Old 04-15-2014, 06:04 PM
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Thanks prop blast I'm going to look into those books
Old 04-16-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LiLREDDUSKY View Post
Thanks prop blast I'm going to look into those books
Prop Blast has helped me many times in the past. His posts are worth reading here and at FS.

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