Jim Broberg from DU-BRO Fishing Products enjoys hunting and fishing across North America. One of his favorite types of fishing when he is saltwater fishing is offshore fishing. One of his favorite places to saltwater fish is off the Florida Keys. Broberg loves targeting dolphin, Wahoo, tuna and sailfish. The problem when fishing offshore in the ocean is sometimes finding fish can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
FIND FLOATING DEBRIS
“One of the things we are looking for when we are fishing off shore is floating debris. When you find floating debris, you usually find bait fish near it and bait fish attract the fish we are after,” Broberg noted.
FIND A SHELF
It is no secret that fish are attracted to structure - whether that is floating structure or structure on the bottom of the ocean. When there isn’t structure, fish usually key in on shelves where there is a subtle or sudden change in depth. “When we fish for tuna, we look for a certain shelf where the water depth quickly changes from 900 feet to 300 feet. The fish often hang out on those areas. The cool thing is some of these shelves are easy to spot from the boat because there will be churning water like a rapids on the surface,” Broberg explained. Finding these shelves is often the key to success.
FIND THE BIRDS
Another way to locate surface structure or shelves is by locating man-o-war birds. “These birds are wherever the baitfish are because they eat the scraps that the tuna and larger fish leave behind so charter captains and hardcore anglers are always on the lookout for these birds. When we see them diving down in the water and finding them, we know that is a place we want to go check out.” The other surefire way of finding fish is with sonar. “We use electronics to fine tune where we want to be but we are always on the lookout for new areas. The birds can help us locate those places.”
High speed trolling is the most popular tactic used when fishing the ledges. The most common bait used are large colorful trolling baits. One day the fish might be hammering hot pink baits and the next day it might be blue. “One problem anglers have when they are fishing is keeping these big baits organized. Broberg keeps his baits handy and organized by using the Kwik Lure & Leader Keeper. “This system works well for storing offshore trolling lures, flies, spoons. You can avoid those tangled messes that cost you fish and frustration. Put the hook into the hook keeper, wind the leader onto the spool, push the rubber wedge on to hold the leader on the spool, and hang on the track. It works well for keeping your rigs at fingertips reach while keeping your boat neat, safe, and organized,” Broberg said. “This simple system might not seem like a game changer, but it is. Every minute counts when the bite is hot and anglers don’t want to be wasting time untangling baits. This system is popular with tournament anglers who don’t want to waste time and want to keep their most popular colors at their fingertips.”
Finding fish is half the battle. Putting them in the boat is the other half of the equation. After the fish are found, having variety of trolling baits that come in every color combination is the key to success. Being organized plays a role in it. “The best offshore anglers are hard workers that keep everything organized and keep an endless supply of trolling baits.” Do you want to fill the cooler with fish? Employ the above tactics and chances are you may be smiling with a cooler full real soon.
BY TRACY BREEN