Offshore Fishing with Light Tackle

Offshore fishing with light tackle may seems out of place; but who ever expected to hook a white marlin in the Canal? Who says a hammerhead won’t hit a topwater?  Certainly, no one is saying it would be easy but maybe it’s time to take more advantage of those offshore trips since your putting the time and gas into getting out to the life in the blue water? Consider it a challenge to get creative and test to your angling skills. Next time your out to the canyons or even around Block looking for the big BFTs, bring along a fly rod or a light spin rig. Closer than usual you may encounter some football bluefin as well as mahi, and offshore you never know what you’ll get in your spread or chum slick. Here are a couple challenges and tips should the opportunity present itself….

  • Schools of mahi are all over the high flyers and other floating habitats less than 20 miles offshore. One strategy is stopping every 5 miles on a string of high flyers once your in water 67 degrees and above. Never get discouraged if the first stops are uninhabited because once you find one your likely to be surrounded by them. Sometimes these fish can be tough to feed at first, so the key is to tease them with changing speeds and jerks. The entire school can be very aggressive once one fish eats. If needed chum them up to really get them going (frozen squid is ideal for this)
  • Sharks, as a game fishing target, are under appreciated. Just imagine the strike and the initial run from a 12′ hammerhead. They are out there and they have shown confirmed interest in plugs.. Makos on the fly are commonly fished off San Diego and there is You Tube footage of fights with as many jumps and runs as a tarpon.
  • Bluefin on fly and light tackle should be considered on your next trip out, think shiny fast and remember to hold on. Don’t underestimate. Be prepared with a drag system that can keep up. Same goes to a lesser degree for skipjack and albie blitzes you may encounter. Heres some flies and lures for these fish.
  • One more consideration is sending a fly back into the spread when the bite is on. This tactic would require a 12 wt setup. Bright tube flies are a good place to start. Although you aren’t casting at fish you still have the element of feeding the fish by adjusting distance, area in spread, speed of retrieve, and of course hook set. It becomes a more personal experience with the fish- if you want to get zen about it..

Good luck and any one of these achievements will certainly test your angling prowess.

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