Fishing for large game fish can be an exciting and unforgettable experience when you are using the best deep sea fishing lures for the job.
SELECTING DEEP SEA LURES
While selecting the right types of fishing lures for offshore use may seem challenging at first, it really isn't much different from selecting the right types of saltwater fishing lures for backwater fishing or bay fishing. Many of the same general fishing concepts apply. Use heavy jigs and deep diving plugs when fishing the deepest depths.
There are many types of fishing lures made for deep sea fishing, but these four types are among the most often used.
DEEP SEA BOTTOM JIGS
If you want to catch reef-dwelling species such as red snapper or grouper, try fishing with heavy bottom jigs. You may want to use a 3 to 8-ounce jig with a bright yellow, pink, or chartreuse tail, drop it down to the bottom, and then work it along the reef or a ledge by occasionally raising and lowering your rod tip.
Just remember that heavy jigs and big fish will require the proper deep sea fishing gear and tackle. Be sure to use a heavy power rod with plenty of backbone when fishing with bottom jigs and rig your rod with monofilament line in the 50 to 80-pound range.
DEEP DIVING PLUGS
Lipped deep diving plugs work well for pelagic species like wahoo, dolphinfish , tuna, and king mackerel that patrol the water column for schools of baitfish. When selecting these types of deep sea fishing lures, remember that the larger the lip on the plug, the deeper the lure will dive and faster it can be trolled.
Deep diving plugs are usually trolled behind an offshore fishing boat at speeds between six knots to 12 knots. The speed generally depends on the fish species you are targeting and the conditions. For example, choppy or rough water may require you to slow down your trolling speed so that your lure stays at the proper depth.
If you want to catch mackerel or bluefish, a metal trolling spoon can be a good offshore lure choice. Narrow, flashy silver metal spoons that produce a fluttering motion are hard for either of these two species to resist.
Since both mackerel and bluefish have sharp teeth, it's a good idea to use a 20 to 40-pound monofilament or wire leader. Attach the leader to your fishing line using a swivel to help prevent your line from getting twisted as you troll.
OFFSHORE SURFACE POPPERS
When you notice that the baitfish are particularly active offshore, and can be spotted near the surface, try a brightly colored surface popper. The action and commotion that is produced by these lures can bring on visible strikes from dolphinfish, jack crevalle, cobia, and tuna.
One of the distinguishing features of a surface popper is the concave face that cups the water and creates a popping or gurgling sound. You can try either a narrow profile or wide profile popper, but make sure it has been made using a through-wire construction method (the hooks and hardware are attached to an internal wire rather than screwed into the body) and heavy gauge treble hooks that will hold up to aggressive strikes from large offshore species.
Learn more about the different saltwater bait and lures you can use in our next section.