Offshore wrecks and artificial reefs are holding large schools of permit. Reliable coordinates are the main concern when heading offshore to locate permit. I have a network of friends, along with coordinates of my own that I can trust to put me on fish. Permit feed off the structure, eating barnacles, shrimp, and crabs. Before heading offshore, fill the well full of crabs the day before and keep them alive overnight with a portable aerator. The strongest outgoing tides toward the end of the day are the most productive way to locate crabs. The grass lines formed by the current usually hold crabs. Once I get to my wreck of choice, I anchor up using my new high definition GPS trolling motor. All I do is put the motor in the water and hit the "anchor" button on the remote. If I'm off my mark a little, I can jog the boat left or right with the touch of the arrow buttons. I don't have to worry about dropping anchor again. Due to the size of permit, I use a little heavier tackle. Ten-pound gear will not work in deep water. Thirty-pound braid with a long 30-pound fluorocarbon leader is needed. Permit have large eyes and will become leader shy if you use anything heavier than 30-pound fluorocarbon. A large 6000 series reel capable of holding 300 yards or better of line is needed.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.