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Types of Saltwater Fishing

Types of Saltwater Fishing

There are several different types of fishing done from Party Boats, the two most common are Bottom Fishing and Flat-lining.  These can be done while anchored or drifting.  Trolling is another type where the boat is moving under power.  Here, Flat-lining near the surface or in mid-water with live or  cut bait or jigs is most often used. 

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing is the most common method of fishing on Party Boats.  It is the best way to catch grouper, black bass, hogfish, sapper, triggerfish, grunts, and more on either live or dead bait or jigs using a heavy rod, line, and weight.  

Since  there only a limited number of spots available on the stern which are usually reserved for flat-line fishing (see below), the remaining spots are used for bottom fishing.   Bottom fishing is just that-catching fish on the ocean floor, or very close to it.  it the boat is not moving and there is no current, this is an easy way to multi-task like fishing and enjoying you favorite beverage, or fishing an posting notes about your trip on social media.  If the boat is moving around with the wind or currents, you can probably forget about doing anything except fishing.  Unless you are fishing an a sandy bottom, if you;re not careful, your hook can easily get snagged on the coral or rocks, or your line could be cut.  Either way, you will waste time retrieving your hook, or even more time if you loose your hook and need to re-rig your line with a new weight and hook.  It is better to let out your line out as fast as possible until the hook reaches the bottom and you line begins to slacken.  Before you release the drag, place a finger on the spool to keep it reeling out to avoid tangling when the line hits the bottom,  When you feel it hit, immediately set the drag, and reel it in a foot or so the hook is off the bottom.  

Bottom fishing on a Party Boat is commonly done using cut bait on a single hook on Party Boats, especially if you are using bait and tackle provided by the boat operator.   We have found that we catch many more fish off the bottom when we bring our own gear as it gives us the flexibility to use using multiple hooks in a “chicken” rig style or, or different jigs for best results.   

As far as tackle goes, we usually use a 30-40 pound rods and line.  Monofilament is the most common type of line used,  It has a bit of stretch which absorbs shock  but it abrasion resistant and is easy to tie.  While braided line offers the best protection from coral and rock, it is often not permitted on Party Boats, because it can easily cut the lines of others when lines get crossed-and they will occasionally get crossed, especially when the boat is moving around or when an energetic fish decides to fight its captors on its way up.

As with any type of fishing on a Party Boat, it is important to let everyone know you have a fish on.  This gives the mate a chance to get to you to assist if needed, and to let other fishers know if thy need to pull up their lines to keep them from tangling.  It is very important to only bring the fish up to within 6 ft of tip of the rod and keep it outside the boat.  This will give the mate a chance to grab your fish and remove the hook.  Of course, if you happen to catch a really large fish (lucky you!), you should leave it in the water water so the mate can use a gaff to bring it in.  And NEVER bring a shark on board (unless the mate tells you its ok and they take control)  It my make for great photos, but the risk of injury is too high of ruining your day or others

Flat-lining

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Drifting

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Trolling

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