Ponce Inlet Offshore Fishing Report: Nov 2013

by Capt. Jon Zeller

Ponce Inlet Offshore

October offshore fishing should trigger an incredible fishery during November. The bait is showing in numbers and it is a matter of time until the migratory species catch up and allow anglers the incredible fall action Ponce Inlet is known for. Near shore reefs from 75-95’ will hold numerous kingfish, along with cobia, bonita , dolphin and sailfish. Last month several sailfish were found in this strata of water along an edge of green to blue green water in addition to the bait holding close to the bottom structure. Dead bait trolling a mixed spread of two deep lines on planners or downriggers using spoons or bonita strips along with skirted ballyhoo or bonita strips on the surface will cover all of your bases. If the sailfish continue to show themselves in the inshore arena, switch up to your normal blue water spread.

If the spindle beaks are not seen inshore, continue to run deep to the usual areas. Bluewater trolling from 180 – 350’ will find crews looking for surface activity or the schools of bait pods that mark on their bottom machines which hold the sailfish. Deepwater structures such as ledges, wrecks or steeples are a good place to start while keeping a watchful eye out for temperature variations, color changes and free jumping sails. Trolling a mix of small naked swimming ballyhoo along with bigger wahoo bait in the spread around a variety of surface teasers and deeper dredge teasers with swimming mullet or ballyhoo is the most effective way to draw a strike. Do not be afraid to put out a small bonita strip on a mono rig with a little sea witch or Islander in front to add a little flash to the natural bait spread. The deepwater trolling action should continue throughout the month until the numerous cold fronts push the baitfish and sails south of the Cape.

Bottom fishing on the intermediate reefs and artificial structures will give anglers a variety of reef dwellers that may be caught by those soaking baits anchored or drift fishing. Cut herring and squid on double rigs will continue to capture most of the stringer fish including sea bass, trigger fish and a variety of snapper. Please be sure to have a venting tool and de-hooker at the ready to release the numerous red snapper that will be caught while trying to catch the other good eating reef fish legal to keep. Grouper can be enticed to bite by anglers using a stout bottom rod and a reel spooled with 80# using a long leader single rig with a fresh live bait or big chunk bait.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Jon Zeller
New Smyrna Beach Billfish Invitational Sport Fishing Charters
(386) 290-4181