Captain's Corner: Blue-water bonanzas

What's hot: All reports I have received have been excellent for offshore blue-water fishing conditions. My friend Daniel Munyan fished an area called "The Box," 100 miles northwest of John's Pass, and was rewarded with more than 200 pounds of dolphin and a white marlin while trolling skirted ballyhoo. Munyan reported that yellowfin tuna were in his trolling spread, but they were unable to get any hook-ups. Yellowfin tuna up to 50 pounds are being caught 60 miles offshore near the Pipeline. They have been striking skirted ballyhoo while trolling at 8 knots.

Tactics: This time of year, trolling is the preferred method for most anglers. Trolling allows you to cover large areas in search of fish. Weed lines, temperature changes, ground structure and floating debris are areas of interest and should be checked out thoroughly.

Once you find fish, troll the area intensively. Mark the area on your GPS, and come back later — the fish won't leave. We have found areas where we caught fish, went offshore overnight and then came back the next day and caught fish again in the same general area. Weed lines always hold bait, and the bait attract the bigger predator fish.

Tips: On overcast days, early mornings and late evenings, use dark-colored lures. During bright conditions, use bright-colored lures. Tuna are early morning and late afternoon feeders. Look for birds feeding — there is a good chance you have located feeding fish.

Larry "Huffy'' Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396 or e-mail him at huffyl@tampabay.rr.com.

Captain's Corner: Blue-water bonanzas 07/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:52am]

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