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Sportfish / Offshore Thread, Capt.Scott Bussen Offshore Report in TribeNwater Boats; To be perfectly honest, it's hard to write an article concerning offshore fishing while listening to thirty knot winds drive ...
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Merritt Island, FL
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Capt.Scott Bussen Offshore Report

To be perfectly honest, it's hard to write an article concerning offshore fishing while listening to thirty knot winds drive bullet-like raindrops against my windows and roof. Seriously, if I could make my keyboard sound like the window next to me, I'd be done with this article by now. The sad thing is that as I start composing my prose de pescado, Tropical Storm Noel is still a couple of days away battering the Caribbean. I hope that doesn't affect the price of rum?! All kidding aside, hopefully by the time you read this we will be back to a favorable weather pattern that allows us to focus on the important things, like fishing.

Last month proved to be a typical October with very few fishable days offshore. We were, however, blessed with a small handful of beautiful days. Fortunately, these fishable days offered up some decent catches.

Starting with my favorite, the bottom fishing was problably better than average for October. Those putting in the effort were able to boat decent catches of grouper, snapper and amberjack. Mixed in with these larger fish were some excellent catches of smaller but equally tasty species such as red porgy, vermillion snapper, and triggerfish. November is typically the month that bottom fishing starts to switch gears from summertime to the fall/wintertime fishing pattern. The first cold fronts blowing through will the trigger falling water temps, which will spur the bottom fish to become more active. With any luck, the grouper and snapper numbers should start to increase on the inshore waters (75'-135') by the end of the month. Finding the right live bait may have as much of an impact on your fishing day as the weather (pinfish have become quite a commodity here in the Port). If the water is dirty inshore, beeliners and tomtates can be tough to catch so make sure to pack plenty of dead bait.

I wouldn't say the trolling bite was on fire in October, but it wasn't half-bad. The ratio of dolphin, wahoo, and sailfish per boat fishing was probably better than it's been since May. In addition to scattered dolphin, several boats had multiple sail releases and a few wahoo hookups. Most of the action was found between 125' to 300'. Much like the bottom fishing, November should provide a bit of an up-turn for the trolling. The big problem facing the troller is wether to troll mono rigs for dolphin and sails, or wire rigs for wahoo. If it's me, I'll run mono on the short baits near the teaser/dredge and run wire on the downrigger and long baits. Fish naked ballyhoo on the mono rigs and ballyhoo/lure combos on the wire rigs.

True to October, the slow trolling on the inshore reefs and wrecks was slow to say the least. The lack of action from kingfish and cobia was made up for by the ever-present Atlantic Sharpnose. Much like some of the above mentioned species, the kings and cobia should start to make an appearance with falling water temps. Until the water temps urge the kingfish to start their southward migration, we will be stuck with a few scattered fish. Late November is the rule of thumb for the migrating schools of kings to make it into Central Florida waters. The arrival of the kings usually coincides with that of cobia as they both follow the same migration criteria. Besides residing on the reefs and wrecks, sometimes the cobia can be found free-swimming along inshore color changes and weedlines.

If all that is not enough, the tail end of the mullet run should continue into November. Those fishing around inlet mouths, jetties and other ambush spots should find consistent action from snook, reds, blues, spanish mackerel and jacks. As far as artificials are concerned, plugs, bucktails and grubs will all take their fair share of fish. Live finger mullet fished on a freeline or on a fish finder rig will be a safe bet also.

When the wind quits for a day or two, be ready to pull the trigger and put the boat in the water.

See ya on the pond!
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