Fishing Nearshore/Offshore Structure
With the greater pressure on inshore fishing, fishing the nearshore and offshore structures are quickly becoming more popular with Carolina anglers. It’s a great option, but it does come with a slight learning curve. It’s a way of fishing that has a few basic variables that are different than inshore structure fishing. However, in recent years things such as trolling motors with features like spot lock and the growing array of artificial lures, have proved to help the nearshore and offshore artificial angler.
Starting off, locating a site is easy. Nearly every artificial reef, sunken structure or reef ball holds bait and that means it attracts fish like Redfish and Flounder. The best part is the fish are almost always there. The migration process is somewhat limited and if you’re not catching, you need to change baits and rigs because the fish are there.
Once on a site don’t make the mistake of casting out over the structure. This will only result in break offs by getting snagged on the bottom structure. Instead, try vertical fishing several feet away from the structure itself, then drop the rig and bounce it along the bottom. I just walk around the deck of the boat moving front to back and then repeating.
Because the bottom could result in a number of snags, I come prepared with 60 to 70 Carolina rigs ready to go. Waiting to create the rigs while fishing is a huge waste of good fishing time not to mention potential sea sickness. Speaking of rigs, I like to use 25 pound fluorocarbon tied to a 1/0 Owner K hook. This helps to save most of my rigs in the frequent event of a break offs. I have 30 pound braid on my spool. I like using the Blue Water Candy jig heads and the ZMan Bad Shad. Again, the trick is to hit the water rigged and ready, and being prepared to lose rigs. It’s the nature of the beast of fishing structure.
Make sure if you don’t have a trolling motor with the spot lock feature and you have to us an anchor, do it carefully. Anchoring over offshore structure can be dangerous if the seas are anything more than flat. Having your anchor snagged in rough seas can cause sinking. And NEVER anchor off your stern even if it’s just for a minute.
For many, it’s a new way of fishing. For others, it’s the way they’ve fished for generations. Either way, give it a try.