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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need advice with fishing from surf and boat. I'll be staying in Little Torch with the family April 2-4. I've rented from Buds Boats in the past with brothers/friend and fished right inside the bays, hawk's channel, and further out around the looe key reef (I realize it is restricted now). I'm kind of tight on cash and was considering a party boat instead-saw the web site for the Marathon Lady and also Sea Dog Charters, who advertises half-day charters for 60$ for four hour trips. What could I expect on any of these trips? I also have a friend who lives in Big Pine with access to a boat slip (and no boat?!) and I read about putting a chum bag out at night in the canals and seeing what comes along. I would like to try to catch pinfish and work up the food chain. Mostly I enjoy bending a rod on grouper, yellowtail, cuda, shark etc. I plan on bringing light to medium tackle (calcutta with 12 lb and heavier spinning set-up with 20lb line). Would really appreciate any help. Thanks.

Thanks a lot. Billfish
 

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Here is the deal on pinfish. Get some real real small gold hairhooks, take a piece of shrimp and dice it up as small as you can and still be able to get it on a hook, fish around any grassy area ( referred to as lakes down there ). Sometimes you may pick up a few hoo this way also if on the ocean side. Once you have the pinfish, you are on your way. Tarpon and cuda hang out in the canals, all sorts of chances around bridges. Have fun !

Striper77
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Striper77
Thanks for the info. I will check into fishing the bridges and would like to do so during the day if possible because I imagine it could be pretty tricky at night. If I recall correctly, I caught pinfish last time with tiny hooks and pieces of squid after dipping the chum bag into the water a few times to attract their attention. Any advice in terms of the rigs-use a float and suspend a bait -vs- a couple ounces of lead and a leader on the bottom? Circle -vs- J-hooks.

Thanks

Thanks a lot. Billfish
 

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Around the bridges I would use a float and let the bait swim about 3 feet below the float. If you go out to edge of the reef, or even on the patch reefs on the way out, try the pin fish on the bottom for groupers and snappers ( mutton snapper is my favorite fish in the world, fights like **** and tastes great !) The most fun about the Keys is that you never know what will hit your bait. Sharks, cuda, tarpon, all types of snapper, king macks, spanish macks, all hang out around the bridges, in the cuts and on the reef so you do not have to travel far. The only fish that require offshore trip of a little ways are blackfins, swords and stuff like that. The sails hang right past the edge of the reef, look at any $3 chart and just troll real slow between Crocker, Alligator, and Davis lights pulling some kind of lively bait ( cigar minnows, hoo, even blue runner ) and you have a shot at a sail on a medium weight spin or casting rig. Lively bait is the key to sails. You can chum up a few ballyhoo on the patch reefs and run quick to the edge and drag them around for sails, but it is tough to keep them alive for long in a well or bucket. You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to have a super time. If you anchor up for fish anywhere, remember the secret is chum, chum, and more chum. By the way, one problem I found with rental skiffs is that they never give you a long enough anchor line, so do yourself a favor and pick up 100 foot of cheap line, even if it is just 1/4 inch so that you have the option of anchoring past the edge of the reef where it drops off.
Have fun and let us know how you do.


Striper77
 
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