George Poveromo, the host of George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing on NBC Sports Network, offered five tips that will help anglers anywhere they travel in search of big fish:
1. Be prepared
"I'll rig all tackle, baits and/or lures the day or evening prior to a trip, so when I set forth, my job is to hunt for the signs that will lead us to fish. Refuse to get distracted by rigging tackle or baits on the way to the grounds. When you hit the water, you should be 100 percent focused on signs that will lead you to fish."
2. Mix it up
"Have a variety of tackle rigged to capitalize on any situation (that) may arise, whether you are an inshore or offshore angler. For example, I'll have several spinning rods rigged with plain circle hooks, bucktails and a top-water chugger, plus an assortment of dead (squid, ballyhoo) and live bait (pinfish, pilchards, etc.). If we're running out and spot a cobia, or if we are bottom or drift fishing and a cobia, dolphin or even a sailfish swims by, we have several rods we can quickly get to, and baits; we've an excellent shot at catching that fish. The worst scenario is seeing fish pop up and you have nothing rigged to take advantage of it."
3. Go light
"Fish today get a lot of pressure, so to get bites, drop in leader strength and hook sizes. For example, when we used to live-bait for sailfish, 80-pound fluorocarbon leaders were standard and 50-pound leaders were used by those in the know. Today, 40 is the new 50. We're using lighter leaders on sailfish and circle hooks one to two sizes smaller to get them to bite."
4. Circle up
"In addition to being a huge conservation tool that limits the chances of hooking a fish deeply, inline circle hooks actually catch more fish. When set properly, it's difficult for a fish to shake it — and that provides great peace of mind when that tarpon, big snook or sailfish takes to the air."
5. Study hard
"Always study the bottom on your fish finder when running to and from the grounds, and even when fishing. You will discover new spots this way. When I see an interesting area, I save it in my GPS. It's these little finds that often pay big dividends, as they're not likely pressured like the more heralded spots. I also want to know what the ocean features are like, i.e. temperature breaks, rips, etc. I want to immerse myself with the workings of the environment. You need to get in a fish's head."