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 to locate them. I have a network of friends I can count on. Permit will feed off of the structure, eating barnacles, shrimp and crabs. Fill the well with crabs the day before and keep them alive with a portable aerator. The strongest outgoing tides toward the end of the day are the most productive way to locate crabs. The grass lines formed by the current will usually hold them.
Tactics: Once I get to a wreck, I will anchor up to the up current side. Permit will get close enough to the surface that their fins will show. Have a drop buoy attached to the end of the anchor line. This will allow you to throw the line and chase fish when hooked. Permit are strong and run toward structures when they get on the line.
Tackle: Due to the size of permit, 30-pound braid with a long 30-pound fluorocarbon leader is needed. But they have large eyes and will become shy if you use anything heavier than 30-pound fluorocarbon. A large 6000 series reel capable of holding 300 yards of line is needed. Permit will peel off the line in seconds when hooked.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.