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New to offshore fishing

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Hey yall. I'm planning to starting doing some offshore fishing (out of Fourchon), and was looking for any advice for people just starting out. I've done a good deal of inshore fishing (trout, reds, etc.), but this is a whole new territory for me. Any advice on techniques, baits, rigs/knots, or any other advice for beginners would be greatly appreciated. Do most people use live bait? I know oftentimes people will use cast nets to catch their own bait. Where could I go looking to catch live bait? Mostly trying to start catching Mahi-mahi, cobia, snapper, etc. Eventually would like to go out further for tuna. Any advice would be greatly appreciated to hopefully speed up the learning curve. Thanks in advance!
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Re: New to offshore fishing
We are new to offshore fishing as well. Went out of Fourchon a few weeks back. We used cut squid and caught a few ladyfish with it. We used a 6/0 circle hook ( not offset) on a 30# flourocarbon leader baited with cut squid and chunks of ladyfish. We caught a couple of small ARS, a Spanish mackerel, hard tail and spade fish. We went back the next day and all we got was sharked. We have a 22ft Gravois so went can’t go out too far. Good luck!
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Re: New to offshore fishing
I myself have been offshore fishing for around 5 years. What you do offshore depends on what you are fishing for. I suggest going at least 15-20 miles offshore if you are going for the general offshore fish that people go for. I fish out of Cocodrie and that's my rule of thumb. Cobia: Jigheads and tails seem to do the trick. Go up on a rig and jig for about 3-4 casts. I jig extremely fast and the Cobia love it. Always try different techniques of jigging. Jig in a way that works for you and roll with it. If you don't get any bites, move on to another rig. Cobia are big fish and have the ability to tear up your boat so be aware of that. I like to use a Finnor Lethal 100 on a Finnor Powerlite rod. I use 50 lb power pro. Some people most likely think that it is a bit overkill for Cobia but those things get big. I am not suggesting you buy my setup as it is expensive but I suggest looking for a spinning reel that can handle a Cobia. Ask around a bit and see what other people use. Red Snapper: Red Snapper are the easiest to fish but the hardest to make time for. Red Snapper season is highly regulated but when you can fish them, do it. As for bait, they eat anything. I usually use frozen pogey or sardines. As for fishing them, Red Snapper always hang out around rigs, both big or small. The rigging is simple. Hook, swivel, leader (50 lb fluorocarbon), and then a circle hook. I can't quite remember the exact size hook but I think it is 6-8. Just drop straight down and then reel up off the bottom. Work your way up until you get a bite. Red Snapper don't like to move up or down much so try to move your bait up and down to get on their level. Only stay at a rig if you get bites often. I have had my fair share of times where I would catch a snapper early on and then not get a single bites for about 15 minutes. Don't let that happen. Always try different rigs. As for gear, use whatever works. I can't give many specifics on reels and rods. Look around and I guarantee you can find people that will show you what to get. Mangrove Snapper: Mangrove Snapper generally hang out closer to the surface of rigs. You can use lighter gear, smaller hooks, and smaller bait than you would for snapper. I like to just free line it (no weight) and see if they bite. They are usually at rigs. If the water is clear, you should be able to see them close up on the rig. As for bait, you can use squid and shrimp but basically use whatever they are biting on. Amberjack: I started fishing them this summer. They hang out around rigs and these are some big motherf*****. I use live hardtail to catch them. To hook on, I back up into the rig and drop a line. As soon as I hook on, I put the rod in the rod holder, put the drag to full, and gun it off the rig. This is to make sure the Amberjack doesn't have the chance to go under the rig and cut my line. As for gear, I use a Shimano TLD 25 with 80 lb power pro. I don't know what rod I have but it does the job. Rigging is pretty standard. Size 8-9 hook, 8 oz weight, and 100+ lb fluorocarbon. Remember, Amberjack is EXTREMELY regulated so always check in on Amberjack season. I have very little experience blue water fishing so I can't give you insight on Tuna or Mahi-Mahi. Just know, blue water does whatever blue water wants to do. I may be 80 miles offshore one weekend and then 115 miles offshore the next. I can give more detail if you have any questions. For anyone reading this that goes, 'What the f*** is this guy talking about?' Please just tell this guy what you do and give him your tips. I am not a pro fisherman, I am just telling him what works for me and giving him insight.
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Re: New to offshore fishing
Thanks for the insight! These tips are very helpful. Hoping to get out there this weekend. I'll let yall know how things turn out.
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Re: New to offshore fishing
Make sure you check the weather. If its rough, its rough. It doesnt matter if you have a 23 ft boat or a 30 foot boat. If its nasty it terms of rain or wind, dont go. Waves are manageable. I like to go out in the .5 to 2 foot range but i have a Mako 224 with a 20 degree deadrise so I cant do much. Also, moving from rig to rig uses more gas than you would think so when going for snapper, use a rig hook. When going for Cobia, just go around the rig a bit and if you don't get a bite, leave.
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Re: New to offshore fishing
i fish out of grand isle all the time on my bluewave 22. fishing for mangroves is pretty easy but you gotta figure them out. cant use gear thats too heavy for them. i usually use 5ft of 40lb flouro leader double uni'ed to the mainline with a small circle hook but its common for me to have to go to smaller leaders and hooks. and baits depend on what i can get. most of the time i catch live pogies in my cast net. i free line them and be ready to yank big mangroves out the rig. if the bait dies i immediately cut them up and chum them. as for cobia you can catch them while targeting mangroves but the best way is to get big buck tail jigs and bounce rig to rig. give each one 15 minutes jigging around it and if you dont get a fish hit the next one. red snapper is pretty easy. leader weight a hook and a piece of bait and drop. pretty simple to catch them. as far as blue water fishing thats a whole different ball game. most of the time its to far from fourchon to go in a bay boat. sometimes it comes close a few months ago we found a patch of blue water and a nice rip about 30 miles out. tons of mahi on it. all you gotta do for them is throw redfish gear at them. matrix shad and stuff like that. generally there is mostly chicken dolphin on the rip but bigger ones are not uncommon. as far as tuna go flourocarbon leaders are a must have. 60 to 80lb is the common size and circle hook snelled to the leader. pogies, hardtails, hornbellies, threadfins, and mullet are all good live bait for them. if live bait isnt working and you know theyre there chum for them. honestly if you dont know what your doing when it comes to tuna fishing the chances of having successful day fishing for them is slim. thats all ive got. if you have instagram you can check out my page @aaron_h2o
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Re: New to offshore fishing
How did you end up doing?
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Re: New to offshore fishing
Decent article on getting started mangrove fishing. http://www.marshforums.com/2018/08/01/mangrove-fishing-for-rookies-by-rookies/
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