Hit the weed lines for fast action offshore fishing
Story and Photography By Robert Sloan
The Gulf of Mexico was about as flat it gets, hot as hell and we hadn’t caught a thing in three hours of fishing. That is until we pulled up along the side of a sprawling weed bed that was loaded with dorado in the two to four pound class.
The water was gin clear and we could see all sorts of small baitfish and crabs under the spread of Sargassum that was several hundred yards long and about 40 yards wide. It was a fishing opportunity anglers in the know rarely pass up.
I picked up a handful of chum and tossed it in the blue green current. A swarm of dorado showed up instantly. Curtis Thorpe, Bill Panto and I picked up three lightweight spinning rods rigged with 2-inch long chartreuse jigs and preceded to catch 23 of the colorful and tasty “chicken” dolphin in just a few minutes. The deck of the 36-foot Contender was a bloody mess, and as we were icing down the catch I looked over the side of the boat just in time to see a huge ling go cruising by.
“Look at that big ling,” I yelled.
Thorpe was quick to grab a rod rigged specifically for that fish. It had a 1-ounce silver spoon tied on and he quickly tipped its hook with a whole Spanish sardine. I tossed in a couple of dead shrimp. The ling did a bat turn, snarfed up the chum and inhaled the spoon. It was game on. Just like that our slow day of fishing had turned into a classic offshore adventure.