Written by Ken Hager
Thursday, 18 September 2008 15:38
When to Run and where to set up
OK, so now you have done some homework, read the forums hit the docks and gathered your offshore reports and it’s time to go. Now what? Wait until dusk and make the 3-4 hour run and get out there around 11-12 AM? You could do that and if you have good intelligence about where to run to you could get lucky d find a good spot to chunk from. Sometimes your schedule will only allow that, leave work on Friday after work get to the grounds around midnight and start the chunk. This can and does work sometimes. But to increase your chance of having a productive overnight trip you may want to leave earlier. Assuming you have some idea about where to go (which I’ll discuss in a later topic) your best odds are to break the inlet around 2-3 at the latest in late August early September and even earlier as the months move on and the sun sets earlier.....(Hit read More)
I suggest you try to get to the grounds while there is still plenty of light out. Not only will it prevent your accidentally running into gear or floating debris, but will help you take notice of your surroundings to help you decide where to set up. Ideally you should stop short of your intended target area by at least 7-10 miles. Set the boat up for the troll and then troll your way towards your designated spot. There is an old adage that says, don’t run from fish to find fish. What that means is once you get close, get off plane and start a troll then start paying attention to what’s around you. Are their signs of life, squid, skip jacks, anchovies or other bait fish? Are any
birds working the area? Believe it or not 90-100 miles offshore, just are there are inshore, birds will be present. Pay attention to them and try to find more than the solitary birds for suggestion of life.
As you are trolling in you should have a lookout on either side of the boat to scan the waters and horizon for these signs. Meanwhile you need to be paying close attention to the electronics and put them to full use. Note the water temp (if you don’t have that capability then get a cheap one installed) is it fluctuating or staying relatively the same? You are hoping to find a temperature break of at least 1-2 degrees as a likely area to narrow down where to set up for the night. At the same time look at your depth /fish finder. What type of bottom are you marking? Is there any structure in the area? Do you see schools of bait and better yet marks below them possibly representing the target species?
What about water clarity? Many times you can find you are in green or cobalt blue water. Which one is better for setting up? Typically it’s the clear cobalt blue water making it easier for your baits to be seen. Ideally the break between cobalt blue and green water is a perfect area to look for. You’d be surprised at how often you can stumble upon this while out there. Can’t really tell for sure whether the water you are in is green or blue? Turn around and take a good look at your prop wash.
You’ll see right away what color water you are in. After a while it will become second nature and you’ll notice the break as you are running. What’s the trifecta for setting up for the night?
Water Temp Break on a color temp break teeming with squid and bait fish. You just found the nirvana of the canyons. Go ahead and drop the hook and prepare to chunk.
Color Break Green vs. Blue Water
Coming Next… How to Chunk….