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Offshore fishing

Christopher Parker, Writer

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In many oceans, fish dominate their ecosystem. Many fish feed on smaller organisms depending on their size. Some even work together to feed on prey. Some are not as social as others, but they all feed in different ways. Sail fish work together to feed on anchovies, sardines, and squid. These fish don’t dominate their ecosystem, but do serve a huge role in the ocean as a predator. Many times, these fish are caught upon the surface of the water. These fish are hunted by Mako sharks in the open ocean. Rarely will these fish come closer to shore to feed. If you’re a fisherman targeting sail fish, you need to use lures like their natural prey.

Rooster fish and cobia both are caught by fishermen when using a buck tail lure and braided or monofilament line that can hold fish of 30 pounds to 50 pounds meaning you would need around 30-pound line, and a strong liter. Cobia will eat eels but will eat menhaden along with roosterfish which usually feed on bait fish of any kinds, but as recommended buck tail lures and trolling lures are recommended. Cobia are some of the best fish to eat, but roosterfish are normally released. These fish are not good eating.

Wahoo and Barracuda are good eating fish and are similar in what they feed on. Offshore trolling lures and baitfish are strongly recommended for wahoo. For barracuda, braided line and tube lures are used to catch them. These fish are great eating with a heavier meat like tuna, and a strong taste. They are recommended on the grill. Red snapper season starts for charters in late-June and lasts till mid-July, but if you are just fishing off your own boat use strips of cut up bait fish. Not as many lures attract these fish, but they average out at about 5 to 30 pounds at about a foot to two feet long. My personal best is a 32-pound red snapper caught off the coast of Orange Beach, Alabama. It was at least two and half feet long. Strips and pieces of bonito are also helpful for snapper and amberjack.

Amberjack can be caught top water when feeding, but are normally caught closer to wrecks and reefs at the bottom. They are predator fish that are also known to be a favorite when spearfishing. Amberjack can get big, but only to a certain length do you normally see them. They can get up to 6 feet, but rarely would you catch them at this size. Mako sharks are gamefish that are some of my favorite fish to eat. They are recommended on the grill and can get up to 14 feet. They are very fast known for making long runs and jumping into fishing boats when hooked. They can be caught with chunks of fish or fished with squid lures and offshore trolling lures.

These fast sharks will also take the tuna on the end of your rod so be careful. Many fish in the ocean can be aggressive like the mako shark, but you can also have a fun fight with them on a fishing rod. Some fish can also be catch and release, but will also be a prize catch to most people. Treasure and respect the offshore fish that you catch.

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Offshore fishing