Permit Fish - Light Tackle for Giants

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Instructor: Scott Fawcett

In The Spread Permit Fishing video, Capt. Scott Fawcett shares professional tactics and techniques for catching world-class fish. Inshore angler RJ Boyle demonstrates how to tangling with a giant permit using light tackle. Fawcett shares secrets on tackle, stalking techniques, boat handling, baits, rig, casting, and moving schools.

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How to Fish for Giant Permit in Florida

  • Learn from South Florida fishing expert Capt. Scott Fawcett
  • Discover the best tackle and bait for catching giant permit
  • Master the art of sight casting to moving schools
  • Find out the ideal water conditions for permit fishing

Permit fish are one of the most sought-after inshore species in Florida, known for their elusive behavior and powerful fights. Nicknamed the "ghosts of the flats," these fish can be challenging to catch, even for experienced anglers. In this article, we'll explore expert tips and techniques for targeting giant permit in Florida waters.

Characteristics of Permit Fish

Permit, a highly sought-after game fish, are known for their challenging nature and impressive size. As members of the jack family, they share similarities with their cousin, the pompano, but can grow significantly larger. These fish are equipped with keen senses, including excellent vision and a strong sense of smell, which makes them highly aware of their surroundings and sensitive to any disturbances.

While permit can often be spotted swimming in schools or tailing on the flats, their unpredictable behavior and skittish nature make them one of the most difficult inshore species to target. Anglers must employ stealthy techniques and precise presentations to avoid spooking these wary fish.

Renowned South Florida fishing expert Capt. Scott Fawcett has years of experience pursuing permit in the region's waters. In a collaborative [permit fishing video]( with In The Spread, Fawcett shares his insights and techniques for targeting giant permit in deeper waters around 30 to 40 feet.

One of the key strategies Fawcett employs is sight casting, a method that involves visually locating schools of permit and presenting baits or lures with pinpoint accuracy. By carefully approaching the fish and making precise casts, anglers can improve their chances of enticing a strike from these elusive giants.

To successfully target permit, it's essential to understand their behavior, preferences, and the optimal conditions for pursuing them. By learning from experienced guides like Capt. Scott Fawcett and adapting their techniques to your local fishery, you can increase your odds of landing one of these prized game fish.

Finding Giant Permit

To find giant permit, anglers should keep an eye out for signs of other large fish, such as rays or sharks, stirring up the bottom. These disturbances can attract permit, which often feed on the small creatures and crustaceans exposed by the commotion.

Good lighting conditions are crucial for spotting permit, as they allow anglers to see the fish more clearly in the water column. Clean, clear water is also essential, as it improves visibility and makes it easier to detect the subtle movements and flashes of these fish.

Tides play a significant role in permit fishing, with certain stages of the tide often producing better results. Many anglers prefer to target permit during the incoming or outgoing tides when the water is moving and the fish are more actively feeding.

Water temperature is another key factor to consider when pursuing permit. Capt. Scott Fawcett recommends focusing on water temperatures between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, as this range seems to be most conducive to permit activity.

Once permit are located, the challenge lies in presenting baits or lures without alerting the fish to your presence. Permit are notoriously wary and can easily be spooked by errant casts, loud noises, or excessive movement. The key to success is stealth and accuracy.

Anglers must make precise casts that land softly near the fish, allowing the bait or lure to sink naturally into the strike zone. This requires a combination of skill, patience, and a keen understanding of the fish's behavior.

By focusing on these critical factors - signs of other big fish, good lighting, clean water, favorable tides, optimal water temperatures, and stealthy presentations - anglers can improve their chances of locating and hooking into a giant permit.

Tackle and Bait Recommendations

When pursuing giant permit, which can easily exceed 50 pounds, having the right gear and employing proper techniques are essential for success. Capt. Scott Fawcett recommends using a 7-foot rod rated for 10-17lb line, paired with 15lb braided main line and a 20lb fluorocarbon leader. This setup provides the perfect balance of finesse and strength needed to land these powerful fish.

Fawcett's go-to bait for giant permit is blue crab, which he often pairs with jig heads that match the color of the bait. This natural presentation can be irresistible to permit, triggering aggressive strikes from even the wariest fish.

In addition to the right tackle and bait, Fawcett stresses the importance of proper techniques when targeting permit. Light tackle requires a delicate touch and the ability to make accurate casts without spooking the fish. Stalking techniques, such as quietly approaching schools and making precise presentations, can make all the difference in getting permit to bite.

Boat positioning and driving also play a crucial role in permit fishing. Anglers must be able to maneuver their vessel without disturbing the fish, while also positioning themselves for optimal casting angles and drift speeds.

Fawcett also shares insights on the ideal permit rig, which typically involves a jig head or a small circle hook tied directly to the leader. This simple, streamlined setup allows for natural bait presentation and reduces the risk of tangles or snags.

By combining the right tackle, bait, and techniques, anglers can significantly increase their odds of hooking and landing a trophy permit. Mastering these skills may take time and practice, but the rewards of successfully targeting these elusive and powerful fish are well worth the effort.

What is the best time of year to fish for permit in Florida?

Permit can be caught year-round in Florida, but the best months are typically from March through November when water temperatures are warmer.

What are some other popular baits for permit fishing?

In addition to blue crabs, permit can be caught using live shrimp, small crabs, and small baitfish like pilchards or sardines.

What is the average size of a permit in Florida?

The average size of a permit in Florida is around 10-20 pounds, but they can grow much larger. The Florida state record for permit is 56 pounds, 2 ounces.

Light Tackle Permit Fishing is Amazing

Catching a giant permit on light tackle is a thrilling experience that requires skill, patience, and the right knowledge. By following the expert advice of Capt. Scott Fawcett and equipping yourself with the appropriate gear, you'll be well on your way to landing one of these elusive and powerful fish in Florida's beautiful waters.

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