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June 21, 2013

Dog Days in the Gulf

Lower Gulf of Mexico wrecks provide hot summer action and plenty of variety.

7. Anchor Right - Or Not At All

We all know how much fun anchoring can be, but to maximize your chances of success, you really need to get close to a spot. Some Gulf wrecks offer a large profile to aim for (there are quite a few sunken shrimp boats out there), while others are quite small. Honing your anchoring skills will help you get situated for maximum effectiveness and therefore increase your chances of success.

This means becoming adept at gauging the effects of wind and tide on your boat. Always know where you are in the tide cycle, and don't be hesitant about re-anchoring if you miss it the first time. Repeat the process as many times as necessary until you get the boat positioned directly up-current from the wreck or reef.

But if permit and cobia interest you more than traditional bottom species, it may be more effective to simply drift repeatedly over a given spot. That way, you can cast to passers-by as they circle the area, and those who want to can drop baits down to the wreck during the drift.

Plus, you'll find a surprising number of fish congregating in the water column near a piece of structure, but not necessarily right on top of it. By drifting and closely monitoring your sounder, you cover more area and get shots at multiple schools of fish or individuals that you might miss if anchored.

8. Fly a Kite
Whether you choose to anchor or not, a large bait suspended under a kite while fishing for the aforementioned species will almost always bring on a massive strike from something. You will inevitably have to deal with barracudas and sharks on a kite, but other species will show up as well.

These include large, smoker kingfish that come to the wrecks in search of the bait pods. Wire leaders are obviously necessary. Tarpon also attack kite baits on occasion, and that's a very cool bite, too. The kite simply adds another dimension to an already diverse fishing experience; it just depends on how diverse you want to get.

No matter what array of tackle you choose to deploy, you will undoubtedly find summer Gulf wreck fishing to be one of the most productive - and the most fun - fishing situations you've ever experienced.