What's hot: Offshore wrecks and artificial reefs are holding large schools of permit. With the cost of fuel these days, reliable coordinates are the main concern when heading offshore. I have a network of friends who I trust to put me onto fish. Permit will feed off structures, eating barnacles, shrimp and crabs. The day before I head offshore, I fill the well with crabs and keep them alive overnight with a portable aerator. The strongest outgoing tides toward the end of the day are the most productive way to locate crabs.
Tackle: Ten-pound gear will not work offshore for permit. It is too light to pull them from deep water. Thirty-pound braid with a long 30-pound fluorocarbon leader is needed to land these strong creatures. Permit have large eyes and will become leader shy if you use anything heavier than 30-pound fluorocarbon. A large 60 series reel capable of holding 300 yards or more of line is needed. Permit will make long runs quickly when hooked.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.