How to find offshore fishing spots

How to Find Offshore Fishing Spots

How to find offshore fishing spots? Fishing is a beloved pastime for many people, and for those who enjoy the challenge of reeling in big catches from deep waters, offshore fishing is the ultimate adventure. However, finding the best spots to fish in open waters can be a daunting task, especially for beginners or those unfamiliar with the area. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true methods for identifying the most productive offshore fishing spots.

Offshore fishing occurs in vast, open water miles away from shore, making it more challenging to locate fish. Your eyes alone cannot help you locate the perfect spot; most of the best spots cannot be seen from above the surface. With this information, you’ll always know where the best offshore fishing spots are–whether you’re looking to expand or explore new territories.

What is Offshore Fishing?

Offshore fishing refers to fishing in the open waters of oceans, seas, or large bodies of water, typically miles away from shore. This type of fishing is often characterized by deep waters, strong currents, and the pursuit of larger, more powerful game fish such as marlin, tuna, and swordfish. Offshore fishing can be done from various vessels, including small boats, large yachts, and commercial fishing boats, and typically involves using specialized equipment such as deep-sea fishing rods, reels, and lines. Offshore fishing is a popular activity for recreational fishermen and women and commercial fishing operations. It requires skill, patience, and a bit of luck to land the big catch.

What Can You Catch During Your Offshore Fishing Trip?

Offshore fishing in Florida can yield a wide variety of fish, including:

  • Mahi-mahi (also known as dorado or dolphin fish)
  • Tuna (such as yellowfin, blackfin, and skipjack)
  • Sailfish
  • Marlin (such as blue and white marlin)
  • Wahoo
  • Amberjack
  • Grouper (such as red, gag, and scamp)
  • Snapper (such as red, vermilion, and yellowtail)
  • Kingfish (also known as king mackerel)
  • Cobia
  • Shark (such as blacktip, bull, and hammerhead)

It’s worth noting that some of these fish may be protected or have specific catch limits, so it’s important to research and follow local fishing regulations. 

Bottom Structure

The bottom structure consists of debris from shipwrecks and reefs, quickly turning into artificial reefs. These bottom structures shelter many fish species and food sources, such as grouper, snapper, amberjack, and other bottom dwellers. It has also formed an ecosystem with small pelagic fish like mahi-mahi and kingfish lurking around its perimeter.

Floating Structure

Baitfish are attracted to cover in open water. Buoys and other small floating objects often have baitfish balls hidden by their shadows, making them a prime hunting ground for cobia and other offshore game fish. You can use buoys as markers below the surface, making searching beneath it much easier.

At the other end of the scale, offshore oil platforms – large floating structures found in the Gulf of Mexico – are at an entirely different end of the scale. Here you’ll find reef fish and smaller aquatic species closer to shore. In deeper waters, you may even have luck finding huge yellowfin tuna or kingfish through trolling or sight-casting techniques.

Seafloor Topography

In addition to reefs, there are various terrain types on the ocean floor to be aware of. Rapid changes in terrain indicate fish could be present beneath you; look out for ledges and humps and canyons, and points that are easily identified.

If you’ve ever fished offshore, chances are you’ve encountered either the continental shelf or the 100-fathom curve. These two locations represent where land meets the ocean and where anglers worldwide seek out some of the biggest fish.


Currents are integral in determining where fish feed, pushing food resources to other areas. Some maps may have currents, but others don’t; to stay up to date on current conditions, check out NOAA Tides and Currents Map. Currents pull different types of water, forcing fish to move for food or seek out new surroundings. A dominant current pushing water toward fish indicates where they want to go and what their nearest terrain or structure may be. In America, anglers prefer the Gulfstream current, which moves warm Gulf water up the East coast from the Gulf.

This warm water current often flows through deep valleys. It provides an ideal hunting ground and migratory corridor for fish, making the Gulfstream an excellent fishing spot throughout the year.

Keep an Eye Out for Birds

Although this technique works in all types of water, it’s especially successful in open ocean waters. Birds will quickly consume baitfish that have been pushed to the surface by schools of predatory sea fish. While spotting these strikes from a distance (at least one mile away) is possible, birds often circle the area. You can spot birds flying or circling in one direction and follow them to get your best bite.

Offshore Fishing Spots

Finding the best offshore fishing spots can take years. But knowing what to watch out for makes it much simpler. Use maps to locate underwater features like reefs, wrecks, and large structures; check for floating objects, too; watch birds as they may help locate fish. Guides and captains usually enjoy sharing their expertise after years spent on the water; join one of our charters today and learn how to find the best offshore fishing spots like a pro!

Get on Board With Our Experts

Ready to experience the thrill of offshore fishing? Choose Salty Knots Fishing Charters! Our experienced guides have years of experience navigating the open waters. They know where to find the best offshore fishing spots. With top-of-the-line equipment and a passion for the sport, we’re committed to helping you reel in your next big catch.

Our team will work with you to create a customized offshore fishing experience that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. Book your trip with Salty Knots Fishing Charters today and get ready to embark on an unforgettable offshore fishing adventure!

Services We Offer

Whether you are an experienced fisherman or a beginner, Salty Knots Fishing Charters will provide you with an experience you will remember. Our services include Offshore Deep Sea Charters. Salty Knots Fishing Charters also offers beautiful sunset cruises along the world-famous St. Petersburg beach!