What's hot: The beginning of summer here officially kicks off the blue-water season. Blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish become favorite targets for trolling. Weather patterns allow for safe trips offshore.
Areas that traditionally hold marlin are the 100 Fathom Curve, the Box, and the Steps. Large weed lines, which hold a steady supply of live bait, are a favorite haunt for marlin. Tuna, wahoo and dolphin are more readily available and often reside in the same areas as marlin. Forty to 50 miles offshore are areas known to hold blackfin tuna. Sixty to 80 miles offshore hold wahoo, and dolphin can be caught 50 to 100 miles offshore.
Tactics: Trolling is the primary method for blue-water species. Speeds vary. We prefer 8 to 9 knots to cover larger areas. Once we find structure, weed lines, floating debris and temperature changes, we troll at 7 to 8 knots using ballyhoo rigged with Islander lures/skirts. Early morning and late evening are your best times for tuna and wahoo. Dark-colored lures (purples, dark red and black) work best. During the day, we use lighter-colored lures (pinks, light blues, green and yellow).
Tips: Once you find fish, work the area hard. We always get a Roffer's offshore infrared forecast that gives water temperature, temperature breaks and the color of the water. Productive water is deep blue.
Larry "Huffy'' Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396 or e-mail him at [email protected]