Home » offshore

Tag: offshore

A Taste of Summer – Offshore Fishing with the Seahunter

Spring can bring some great opportunities to fish inshore, but for the serious offshore angler, some of the best saltwater fishing comes when the more consistent summer weather patterns arrive. TFO Ambassador Captain Jonathan Moss gave us a rundown of the offshore fishing he’ll be doing with his clients in the next few months, including the Seahunter series rods he’s using to land big game species:

“The main things we look forward to with summer are the warmer temps and less wind. During this time of year (April), spring cold fronts often make offshore fishing pretty difficult. Conditions become a lot easier to fish in once we get past the cold fronts, and the warmer, calmer days arrive.

Photo: Oliver Sutro

In the summertime, I often joke and refer to the Atlantic Ocean as “Lake Atlantic”. Some days, the water really does look like a lake. With its slick, glassy look, you’d have no idea you were fishing on the ocean. These are my ideal days. It is considerably easier for us to run offshore. It is better for the client, and at the end of the day you don’t feel beat up, like you would in rough conditions.

With those warmer days come rising water temperatures. The typical target species begin to push closer to shore. During the summer, we are typically taking clients to target amberjack, snapper and grouper. Of course when the short season opens, we’ll be catching (and keeping) red snapper.

Photo: The Captain’s Log

In order to target these big fish, we have to rely on a heavier rod like the Seahunter that has the backbone to allow you to put the heat on these fish and bring them up off the bottom. These fish are holding in structure – wrecks, reefs, rock piles and artificial reefs. When they come out of these structures, if you don’t have the backbone in a rod or a strong enough drag on a reel, they are going to grab your bait, swim back into that structure and break you off. Having the power in a rod to put the brakes on a fish is crucial.

Gear

I rely on two TFO rods when fishing offshore:

1) 7’ 7030 Seahunter spinning rod (TAC SHS 7030) with a 6000 series reel, spooled with 40lb braid and a 50-60lb fluorocarbon leader

2) 6’6” 6640 Seahunter spinning rod (TAC SHS 6640) with a 8000 series reel, spooled 60lb braid and a 50-60lb fluorocarbon leader

Photo: The Captain’s Log

If we find that we’re not getting the action/bites we desire, we will size down on the leader. Conversely, if fish are breaking off more, we’ll step up the strength of the leader. We’ll adjust until we find that sweet spot.

Pro Tip: Sometimes adding an additional cushion to the butt of the rod can really help reduce fatigue and minimize the bruising of the hip.

For baits, we are typically using grunts in the 8”-10” range. These are great baits to send to the bottom using a knocker rig, for your bigger fish like grouper, red snapper, etc. For the smaller species, we’re using cut baits (squid, shrimp) with a chicken rig.

Inshore > Offshore Trolling with the Seahunter

Another tactic I like to use the Seahunter for is trolling. Typically when we run out the inlet, we are throwing out a trolling bait right off the bat. You never know what you’ll catch as you’re working your way out to your spot to fish the bottom. It’s not uncommon to catch barracuda, kingfish, mahi mahi, or a sailfish while you are running out to your deep water spots. The 7030 rod setup is what we typically use for this.

Photo: The Captain’s Log

Offshore Vertical Jigging

One of my favorite ways to fish the Seahunter offshore is vertical jigging. I spend the majority of my time fishing lures inshore on the flats, so being able to fish a lure offshore is an absolute blast.

Amberjacks are what we typically catch while doing vertical jigging. They are also referred to as reef donkeys, because when they hit the lure, they take off like a mean mule. You’ll be vertical jigging – pulling up that lure, popping and jigging it – then it will just stop and take off when an amberjack hits it. Not only do they fight hard, but they are a fantastic table fare. A blue and yellow 9oz vertical jig, with a lot of flash works well at getting the fish’s attention.

Offshore fishing is a ton of fun. It’s hand-to-hand combat. You are literally going one on one with these fish. Having a strong tool like the Seahunter makes all the difference. It’s in my boat everyday and my clients love using them.”

Photo: The Captain’s Log

Blog written by Ambassador Capt. Jonathan Moss. You can find out more about his charter Go Castaway Fishing Charters here or follow him on social media here. You can also see Captain Jonathan Moss in action on his hit new show The Captain’s Log, viewable on Waypoint TV, Amazon Prime and his YouTube channel.

TFO Pro Staffer Capt. Jonathan Moss Launches The Captain’s Log

In case you missed one of our recent shares on social media, Florida based TFO Pro Staff angler Capt. Jonathan Moss has a new video series that just launched — The Captain’s Log with Waypoint TV. Check out the trailers for Episode 1 & 2  below.

The series follows host Capt. Jonathan Moss on an educational expedition through Florida and all its vast and beautiful estuaries. Throughout the series, we’ll follow Moss and his crew as they target both inshore and offshore species and learn a few tricks and tactics along the way.

Between guiding with clients and shooting for this series, the TFO Inshore is Jonathan’s Go-To for pretty much all the fishing he does, but when heading out for offshore and targeting big game, Moss switches over to the Seahunter series.

We decided to check in with Jonathan to get some more feedback on the Inshore – along with and what his crew and clients have been saying about these TFO rods.

 

TFO: Looks like you guys are using the Inshore a lot through The Captain’s Log! What do you like about the Inshore? 

JM: The TFO Inshore series rods are the perfect combination of light weight, all day fishability with enough backbone to go toe to toe with fish and win! In addition to the Inshore series’ performance is Its eye appeal! The TFO Inshore rods are aesthetically pleasing with high quality rod components and that catchy blue color! 

 

TFO: Do you have a Go-To size/model?

JM: The TFO Inshore series rods have a wide variety of rod lengths, powers and actions from which to choose! For shallow water sight fishing, my go to inshore rod is the 7ft medium power fast action rod, paired with a 3000 series reel and 10lb braided line. That setup will allow anglers to cast a soft plastic or live bait both a long distance and accurately. That combination is the key to sight casting leery fish on the flats. When the conversation turns to big tarpon, my go to TFO inshore rod is the 8ft Mag Heavy Fast Action rod paired with a 6000 series reel with 50lb braided line. A longer rod means further casting and the backbone of the mag heavy rod gives me confidence in battling the Silver King.

Lastly, I always have an extra 8ft mag heavy combo ready and rigged with a large bucktail jig for the unexpected visit from a Cobia! 

TFO: You’ve mentioned that The Captain’s Log will feature a few offshore episodes where you guys switch over to the Seahunter series. What do you like about The Seahunter compared to other offshore rods?

JM: The TFO Seahunter rods are very impressive. When fishing offshore wrecks and reefs, anglers need a rod and reel combo to keep fish from turning their heads back towards the bottom structure. Big fish such as varieties of Groupers, snappers and amberjacks are notorious for breaking lines on structure. The Seahunter series time and time again proves it’s worth as a part of my offshore arsenal by giving the angler the edge over these powerful reef dwellers! When fishing competitively or commercially as a full time guide, I need rods that will hold up to the test of big fish every day and the Seahunter Series rods from TFO gets the job done!

 

TFO: Do you have a Go-To size/model for this series as well?

JM: Rod selection is dependent on style of fishing. For vertical jigging, my go to is the 7ft 30 power rod paired with a 6000 series reel and 50lb braided line. For dropping live grunts over rock piles for groupers and snappers, my go to is the 6ft 6inch 40 power rod paired with an 8000 series reel and 60lb braided line. 

You just can’t beat these rods for offshore fishing! 

 

 

TFO: What has been the response from your clients and other people that have fished with you about TFO products (Inshore, Seahunter, others)?

JM: I am blessed to be able to make a living on the water! Part of my success has been quality gear. My rods and reels get abused every day and still look and feel like new. It’s a testament to the quality put in to each TFO rod on my boat. From fly rods to inshore to offshore, my clients only get the best that TFO offers. I hear it all the time, “where can I get a fishing rod just like this one?” My clients are quickly making the change to TFO because they recognize the performance, durability and quality of TFO rods. 

 

Keep up with Capt. Jonathan Moss and his crew on the latest episodes of The Captain’s Log here

To find out more information on Jonathan or to book a trip with his guiding service (GoCastaway), you can visit his website here.