Sunny Fishing Charters

Golden Tilefish FISHING

Peak Season: Winter
Best Charter: Full Day Offshore
Best Technique: Deep Dropping Chicken Rigs
Best Bait: Squid
Table Fare: Excellent


Targeting golden tilefish requires a straightforward approach but yields rewarding results. These deep-water dwellers thrive in cold depths ranging from 550 to 900 feet, typically staying close to the ocean floor. With a penchant for ambushing prey, tilefish are often found burrowed in mud or congregating near the bottom.

Feeding on a variety of bait including squid, mackerel, and porgys, golden tilefish are known to gather in schools. While they favor mud bottoms, some of the largest specimens are discovered near rockpiles or humps teeming with rosefish.


To hook golden tilefish, we employ a specialized rig known as a “lay down rig.” This rig features a 6-ounce lead with a light at the top, followed by four hooks on 80-pound leader. We opt for robust 8/0 circle hooks and sturdy 80-130 pound leader material. Typically, a 4-pound lead caps off the rig. While squid remains a top bait choice, bonito strips and barracuda can also prove effective.

When pursuing tilefish, we prefer using a rod equipped with 50-80 pound braid, whether manual or electric depending on prevailing currents. Our strategy involves covering water as we bounce the rig along the ocean floor, aiming to hook multiple fish before reeling in. If we snag a sizable catch, we promptly reel it in and redeploy in the same vicinity. Known for their vigorous fights and delectable taste, golden tilefish serve as an excellent alternative species during sluggish fishing days.

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