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First Offshore Trip in FL Keys

Old 07-08-2014, 05:45 AM
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Default First Offshore Trip in FL Keys

Hello,
My son and I (just the 2 of us) are going to try our first offshore adventure. I have been many times with others (up north in Maryland, SC and NC) but never the captain….this will be my sons (AJ) first time. We are taking vacation in Islamorada (Keys), FL. July 19th. We hope to go offshore a couple times, nothing too far, but far enough that I may be able to land AJ a Mahi-Mahi or other larger fish. I’m looking for any suggestions from any experienced anglers in the area or anglers that may know the area and where to try our luck. It looks like we will go out to the ocean using Tavernier Creek if that helps. We would also be interested in inshore (Bay side) if there are some nice spots to try out.
I truly appreciate any and all help.
Thanks,
John
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:49 AM
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boat size & description?
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:04 AM
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great spot to be......you don't need to run far.....stop at the reefs and get some live ballyhoo.........

make sure you hit the sandbar when the fishing is done!
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
boat size & description?
211 Key West w/225 Y. sorry should have mentioned that. Thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:24 AM
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Take a SE heading by the alligator lighthouse head out about 15 miles troll ballyhoo when you find weedlines. Good Luck
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Paramount21fla View Post
Take a SE heading by the alligator lighthouse head out about 15 miles troll ballyhoo when you find weedlines. Good Luck
I will look up alligator lighthouse on the map....thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Paramount21fla View Post
Take a SE heading by the alligator lighthouse head out about 15 miles troll ballyhoo when you find weedlines. Good Luck
X2. This time of year you usually have to run a little further offshore to find fish. And now that I've said that, you may find some dolphin 2 miles out off of Alligator.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:59 PM
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OK, going to ask for a little more detail...

I'm not that experienced with using ballyhoo, I plan to get some pre-rigged ballyhoo and run them both naked and with a couple skirts, run some cedar daisy chains, and pirate plugs. I assume you troll the weed-lines / looking for birds, when (if) we hook up, we bring to boat but dont land it, then tart to throw the open face reels with cut bait (assuming squid).

Does this sound about right.

Thanks for helping me out and i will certainly return the favors.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jambf750 View Post
OK, going to ask for a little more detail...

I'm not that experienced with using ballyhoo, I plan to get some pre-rigged ballyhoo and run them both naked and with a couple skirts, run some cedar daisy chains, and pirate plugs. I assume you troll the weed-lines / looking for birds, when (if) we hook up, we bring to boat but dont land it, then tart to throw the open face reels with cut bait (assuming squid).

Does this sound about right.

Thanks for helping me out and i will certainly return the favors.
Sounds like a plan look for the frigate birds (large black ones) and dont forget to drop back if you miss a strike. Dont just reel the line in right away and check the bait.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:36 AM
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We were seeing phins in 100' of water just outside the reefs last summer. Hoping some are still there as we are heading down on the 18th. My little 18' is good for about 10 miles out. Birds gave away their position.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Paramount21fla View Post
Sounds like a plan look for the frigate birds (large black ones) and dont forget to drop back if you miss a strike. Dont just reel the line in right away and check the bait.
thanks...i copied every bit of advice i received toa word document and it will be on our boat box...

Originally Posted by DFreedom View Post
We were seeing phins in 100' of water just outside the reefs last summer. Hoping some are still there as we are heading down on the 18th. My little 18' is good for about 10 miles out. Birds gave away their position.
thanks, where do you go out of? We will be there the same time...thanks
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:26 AM
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If you have a livewell, plan on getting live 'hoos on the reef...

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Old 07-09-2014, 10:41 AM
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We are staying on Plantation Key about in the middle of the island ocean side. Tavernier Creek to the north and Snake Creek to the south. We'll dock our boat where we are staying.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:54 AM
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i would start fishing in 400'. dragging small baits, pref blue/white, and pink/white, looking for birds birds, birds!!!!! with a ballyhoo ready to be pitched as well..
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:57 AM
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This is the time of year where the fish tend to be caught in deeper water. Right now the gulf stream is about 13 nautical miles SE of Islamorada so you may want to get out real early before the PM t-storms and run out that far or so keeping an eye out for the birds and anything floating. Getting live bait will also help, best of luck.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:08 AM
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Another technique you can use....

Go offshore looking for birds (frigates and such) or debris

Have several spinning rods at the ready with either livebait (hook up the bait then leave in livewell, do only one or two as the do tangle) or chunks of Ballyhoo.

Run to the area of the birds, have some bait cut up already and toss it in right when you pull up, if there are any dolphin they will come around the boat. If you see fish chunk your baited hooks in and hold on..

The live baits can be slow trolled around any debris. If you slow troll I would use more of a kingfish rig as pictured below... (just keep it simple two hooks, one is stinger left either hanging on hooked into the bait 2/3's the way back and wire leader)

https://www.google.com/search?q=king...w=1600&bih=715
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:53 AM
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4-600' of water and billy baits. look for birds, weeds, floating debris. good to go.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
Another technique you can use....

Go offshore looking for birds (frigates and such) or debris

Have several spinning rods at the ready with either livebait (hook up the bait then leave in livewell, do only one or two as the do tangle) or chunks of Ballyhoo.

Run to the area of the birds, have some bait cut up already and toss it in right when you pull up, if there are any dolphin they will come around the boat. If you see fish chunk your baited hooks in and hold on..

The live baits can be slow trolled around any debris. If you slow troll I would use more of a kingfish rig as pictured below... (just keep it simple two hooks, one is stinger left either hanging on hooked into the bait 2/3's the way back and wire leader)

https://www.google.com/search?q=king...w=1600&bih=715
Thanks a ton!!!!!
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:17 AM
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A few may know we had a small issue with gas cap, but all resolved.

We went out yesterday (Monday) and it was pretty rough. We made it to the humps about 13 miles out and then the skies took over and blew us out....we got rods in the water and hooked one black fin tuna. I purchased a fish identification chart….and as my continued good luck would have it, the one missing fish was the black fin tune…we were not sure of the legal keeper size so it lived to get a bit bigger.

We were also struggling with weeds getting on the bait due to the seas being so rough. There was weed everywhere, not just in good large lines/areas. Minutes after the one hook up, the weather turned real bad, lightning and rain and good size seas, we raced the storms back to port. I was so proud of my son for his first time out with bad conditions, hopefully we will get him one good keeper. We are watching the weather and headed back out first chance….looks like Wednesday may work.

Are there any good sports for bottom fishing? I hear there are some good size fish on the reefs?
Thanks All!!!
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:15 PM
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There is no size limit on blackfin

If you want your son to fight a big fish, get down current of the hump and drop a live pinfish or blue runner down and hold on for an AJ.

For easier, fun fishing for yellowtail, go to 60-90' of water, anchor and chum, a lot of chum, and freeline 1/2"x3" pieces of squid or a 1/3 ballyhoo fillet, or small chunk of bonita back in hte chum slick.

While you are doing this, drop a live ballyhoo or pinfish on the bottom and pick up a mutton or grouper
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