What's hot: Blue water fishing is incredible. With calm winds and flat seas a run to 200 feet or more has been easy. Large tide rips and huge weed lines at the 70-mile mark and beyond have been common. These areas are loaded with tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Trolling and vertical jigging have been the most productive.
Tactics: Vertical jigging used to be reserved for amberjack and grouper. But in the past few years this style has effective for almost any species. We have caught wahoo up to 90 pounds, and more tuna than I could count using this technique. The vertical jig is a 6- to 12-ounce, deployed over any structure or under floating debris and retrieved at a fast erratic pace up through the water column. We typically target these pelagics in depths from 200-2000 feet.
Tips: Offshore, a well-formed plan is a must. Satellites read temperatures and current directions offshore, and many websites offer this information. Have a lookout at the highest point of the boat to watch for birds, weed lines or floating debris. Have a variety of baits and lures and change the lures often. It does not take much to attract the attention of these fish.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.