In a lot of respects, finding a good fishing spot offshore is like finding gold to charters and general anglers in Sarasota. If you begin catching healthy Snapper or Grouper for example, you’ll want to be sure and stay on the same spot for as long as possible.
Unless you’re trolling, fishing charters stay stationary most of the time, with the exception of the trip out and back of course.
Even if a spot doesn’t seem to be doing too hot at a particular moment, many captains will sit and wait for a little while to see if the bite starts picking up.
Once they’re on a desired spot, deep sea fishing charters and general anglers will use an anchor to keep themselves stationary while they fish. While it’s easy to think that staying in one place is as simple as throwing and anchor into the water, it’s actually a bit more involved, especially if the captain is doing it right to avoid damage to any underwater reefs or rocks. Also, the captain needs to also make sure they don’t drop anchor on a wreck and end up getting their rope tangled in the debris below.
We invite you to continue reading to learn more about how deep sea fishing charters in Sarasota and throughout the Gulf coast stay in one spot for several hours while everyone is having fun boating fish.
When bottom fishing off Sarasota, deep sea charters will drop anchor in the desired spot in order
to maximize the catch for their patrons…
Anchoring in a desired spot, either over a natural reef, rock formation or artificial reef, is a bit more involved than just pulling up and throwing an anchor in the water. Charters have to contend with tidal currents, winds, the wake from any passing boats and other factors that can easily push them off the spot their trying to get over.
Also, charter captains will not want to place the anchor directly over the spot, but rather off to the side for a few different reasons:
- The anchor point will not be directly under the boat but rater several yards or 100 feet away.
- If an anchor is placed in a reef (artificial or natural), it will not get a good hold like it will on a sandy bottom.
- In an artificial reef, an anchor and the rope can easily get tangled up. The end result often means cutting the line and leaving the anchor.
- In a natural reef, an anchor can damage the coral or rock formations.
These reasons are why charters will need to make sure they place the anchor in the sandy bottom surrounding a reef. Also, they will not want to position the boat right over a spot since it can spook the fish.
Once they reach a spot offshore, deep sea charters will then carefully observe the currents and winds to determine how they should proceed
Most vessels today will have a GPS onboard, so the first thing they’ll do is mark the spot. If they don’t have a GPS, they will drop a marker buoy at the spot.
Next, they will put the boat in neutral to stop any forward movement. At this point, the boat should be moving with the current and wind.
After drifting for a short bit, the boat will back up to the spot or the marker buoy and then keep going until they are at least three times the distance of the water’s depth at their location. For example, if they’re in 75 feet of water, they will need to move 225 feet past the buoy before attempting to set the anchor.
Once the boat reaches the minimum distance, the captain will drop the anchor and allow the boat to drift back to the marker buoy or the spot they want to be positioned for fishing.
While it may seem like they can set it and forget it, the captain and crew aboard a deep sea charter must continuously monitor the winds and tidal currents to ensure they stay on the spot. Modern technology allows the captain to set an alarm that will alert him if the boat starts moving too far off a spot. Once a tide changes direction for example, it will move the boat back toward the anchor and off the spot.
When it comes to the rope holding the anchor, known as a “rode,” having more is better. It’s recommended charter boats have at least 3 times the amount of rode for the water depth the boat will be anchored in. Again, if the water depth is 75 feet, the boat will need a minimum of 225 feet of anchor line or rode on board. Of course, most vessels will have way more than that for safety reasons.
This of course is one of many “behind-the-scenes” things that go in to ensuring patrons aboard an offshore deep sea fishing charter have fun catching Grouper, Snapper and other species that congregate around reefs and wrecks off the coast of Sarasota. It’s not necessary for a patron to understand how the captain anchors the boat, but feel free to ask questions provided you’re not interrupting the captain while he’s trying to get the boat into position.
Legacy Fishing Charters offer deep sea fishing excursions offshore from Sarasota. Spots are chosen based on what’s currently biting, current conditions and more. Click here to learn more about deep sea fishing off Sarasota and Florida’s Gulf Coast or to schedule an outing.