St. Augustine Offshore – “Time To Troll”

Time To Troll!


It’s that time. Grouper are closed. Hunting and Football are winding down. It’s a great time for blue water fishing. Wahoo, Sailfish and Black fin Tuna are available to anglers who make the 50 mile journey to the Gulf Stream. Find Water temperature in the mid-70s and schools of bait and you will be in business. Start looking in 145 ft. inshore of the shelf edge. I have caught allot of wahoo by pulling up short inshore. I prefer an Islander Hawaiian eye ballyhoo combo pulled on a planner down deep but many Wahoo will be caught on surface baits. Something with a jet head works well and number 10 wire is a must.  Black fin Tuna will usually be found closer to the shelf edge if not on top of it. Bait choice for the Tuna is Ballyhoo rigged on monofilament with a small skirt or no skirt at all (naked). Leader should be 100 # and I like at least 10 ft. Cedar Plugs work well also and Blue and White and Red and White are my colors of choice. Tunas can be finicky so the further back you run your baits the more bites you usually get. Don’t be surprised when a Sailfish eats your Tuna rig, I have had multiple days on Sails in January.
On the bottom there are still a few species available. Red Porgy, Triggerfish, Sea Bass and Vermillion snapper can be caught in the deeper water if the trolling is slow Cut squid for bait and a drift along the shelf edge will produce plenty of bites. Back in the 21 fathom area there will be a few Cobias around. Live grunts fished off the bottom or a jig fished vertically should do the trick.
Remember all grouper species are closed until May 1st.
‘‘Let’s Go Fishing’’
Captain Robert Johnson