Offshore wrecks and artificial reefs are holding schools of permit. When heading offshore, reliable coordinates are key to locating permit. I have a network of friends that I trust to put me on fish. Permit feed off of structure, eating barnacles, shrimp, and crabs. Before I head offshore, I watch the forecast, fill the well full of crabs the day before, and keep them alive overnight with a portable aerator. The strongest outgoing tides toward the end of the day are most productive for crabs. At my waypoint, I anchor up using my high definition GPS trolling motor. I put the motor in the water and hit the "anchor" button on the remote. If I am off my mark a little, I move left or right with the arrow buttons to get precisely where I need to be. I do not have to worry about dropping a clunky anchor again. Ten-pound gear is too light for permit offshore — 30-pound braid with a long 30-pound fluorocarbon leader is needed. Permit have large eyes and get leader-shy with anything heavier than that. Use a large 60-series reel capable of holding 300 yards or better of line. Permit make long runs in seconds when first hooked.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.