Unlike many other fishing grounds there is very little structure to work when fishing offshore, south of Martha’s Vineyard. Basically the only forms of structure you have are temperature breaks from warm eddies moving in from the Gulf Stream, floating debris and high flyers. The challenge is that you’re canvassing large areas in a place know to host as vast number of different baitfish, including but not limited to: spearing, butterfish, puffer fish, herring, ballyhoo, flying fish and many others.
As far as tuna go sometimes you’ll see skipjacks, bonito and false albacore but the main targets off the Vineyard are bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and the occasional long fin albacore. You’ll also find mahi, occasional wahoo, white marlin, blue marlin, blue sharks and mako sharks in your spread too.
Popular colors for south of the Vineyard lures: There are endless colors available for offshore lures. However, the time-tested favorites south of the Vineyard are pink (an attractor color, often used in rough seas for visibility); green (a time tested favorite and a great mackerel imitator); rainbow (an attractor color); white (a great imitator of ballyhoo, herring and other typical bait fish); and Blurple (great for dark conditions or the contrasting other color lures in the spread).
Various forms of Green Machines have been around since the advent of offshore fishing. South of the Vineyard, the 9-inch version is the popular size. They are often fished as a single bait behind a bird, daisy chain behind a bird, or naked off an outrigger.
High Speed Mini Bulb Squids
Many anglers associate bulb squids with fishing for giant bluefin tuna, but the smaller, lighter versions are dynamite for fishing in this area. When rigged on lighter bars they have minimal drag, pulse in smooth water and importantly, don’t tumble in rough seas.
Skirted Ballyhoo or Imitator
At Salty Cape / Hogy we are fans of artificials, but we also know that ballyhoo are an important trolling bait offshore. We like to fish them off an outrigger or way, way back (also known as WWB). An imitator such as a Hogy Blue Max with a soft bait in lieu of the ballyhoo can be an excellent way to dial in color to either match the hatch or increase visibility in rough seas.
Jet heads leave a nice bubble trail that leads fish to your spread. I fish jet head off my center rigger, way back.