Many people are surprised to learn that you can fly fish offshore. Most of us, when we picture fly fishing, envision a lone fisherman in camo waders standing in the middle of a creek or shallow river, surrounded by forests.
That’s definitely the most common way to fly fish. Roughly 80% of fly fishermen can be found in back country shallow water, lakes, streams, and bays. It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to fly fish in a nearby stream than to hire a boat to take you offshore.
So, why offshore fly fishing?
Because the rewards are absolutely incredible. And, once you’ve done it, we know you’ll be hooked for life.
Let’s talk about four of the many advantages to offshore fly fishing when compared to fly fishing in the bay.
#1: There is a much bigger variety of fish offshore.
Did you know that there are three species of fish off South Padre Island that you can only catch offshore? They are: kingfish, dorado, and marlin.
Now, we’ll be honest. Catching a blue marlin on the fly isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, and most fly fishers don’t accomplish it in their lifetimes. Blue marlin are hard enough to catch on conventional tackle, let alone a fly.
What are some other fish you’ll see from your offshore fishing boat? Tarpon, cobia, yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, ling, sailfish. These are some gorgeous fish that most people never get to see up close and personal and offshore fly fishing gives you the perfect opportunity to see them.
#2: The fish are a lot bigger offshore.
To tell a big fish story, you need some big fish, right? And you won’t find the big, big fish in the bay. You’ll have to go out on the charter boat for those.
Tarpon is the number one ask Captain Joel gets from people he takes out on his boat. Dorado is a close second. Both are very tough on the fly because of their sheer size and power. You need some serious strength to pull the tarpon and dorado in.
Where do you find these great big dorado? Look for an object floating in the water. There are usually dorado near a floating object—driftwood, a buoy, seaweed drifts.
The cobia, dorado, kingfish, yellowfin tuna, black fin tuna all found under shrimp boats as well.
Very few things in life beat the thrill of spotting a massive sport fish in the wild. And then catching it, fighting it, reeling it in, and of course telling all your friends about it.
#3: The fish are way more abundant offshore.
It’s kind of obvious that there are more fish out in the middle of a massive ocean than there are in a bay, but it’s definitely a huge perk of offshore fly fishing.
The abundance of fish means a whole lot more biting. In the bay, you’re going to get a nibble maybe every 10 casts. Offshore you get way more chances. Especially if you’re able to get close to a shrimp boat, or even a wreck, a big piece of driftwood or bunch of seaweed, you’ll get some good nibbles.
(Just imagine the feeling of coming up behind a shrimp boat, and coming face to face with a big school of kingfish! The only thing more exciting than seeing one big fish is seeing a bunch of big fish all together in one place.)
#4: The fishing techniques are more exciting offshore.
Let’s be real: fly fishing offshore is probably one of the most challenging ways to catch a fish.
But, the more difficult something is, the more excited you’re going to be when you pull it off, right?
The greater the challenge, the better the reward.
With offshore fly fishing, you’re actually seeing the fish up close and casting directly to them. It’s almost like it’s personal. Then you’re getting the bite and hunkering down for a fight. That’s where it gets really personal.
Mano a mano.
Man (or woman) vs. big fish.
We’ve all heard stories of the big one that got away. Fish that break the line or break the rod or pull the angler overboard. You can’t learn how to fight a fish from a blog post, and honestly, every fight is different, but here are a few tips:
When your fish gets close to the boat, turn it using side pressure. The fish is going to go whichever way you point its head. If you can keep it off balance, it’s going to get tired more quickly. Slowly but surely, with smooth motions, move the rod from side to side, doing your best not to allow any slack in the line.
It takes a lot of practice and requires a high degree of finesse to do it properly. Bottom line: it’s a lot of effort for a small amount of success. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of mental fortitude, not to mention the physical strength.
Real avid fishermen tie their own flies, make their own lures, and the bite is even more rewarding.
Offshore fly fishing is one of those things you can’t just check off your Bucket List and be done. Do it one time, and you’re going to get addicted. You’ll want to do it again and again and again and we’re here to help you do that.
Download our Species Matrix to help you plan your next fishing adventure. The Species Matrix is a downloadable PDF that shows what species can be caught at what time of the year. It’s an easy way to make sure you plan your fishing vacation around the fish you most want to catch.
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MEGABITE SPORT FISHING
300 S Garcia St
Port Isabel, Texas
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Weekends :: Gone Fishing!
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