The drift boat has been doing really good on their night time anchor trip. We’ve been catching yellowtail snapper by the bushel, and the larger mutton snappers have been biting pretty good too. Large by Lauderdale standards that is, most being 6-10 lbs. The drift boat has been geting good action in the day trips too, with lots and lots of bonitos, some small tunas, and a few big kingfish. We’ve also hit a few nice schools of dolphin, which have been coming in close lately, mostly schoolie size.
The sportfishing boats have been doing great. Mostly, with all the action on the reef, we’ve been trolling with planers and surface lures. The drone spoon has been the best bait lately and we’ve been catching lots of bonitos, kingfish and a nice blackfin tuna here and there. When the reef starts to slow down, we’ve been hitting the wrecks for some good action. Big amberjacks, and a few nice groupers have been caught.
On one trip this week we hit a big school of cobias on the bottom. On one of our 220′ shipwrecks we fish on, we drop a live blue runner to the bottom and get a nice bite. The fish comes shooting to the surface as we pull ahead with the boat, and I yell down to the mate, “it’s probably a cobe’, its right up on top.” Sure enough, we get it closer to the boat and there’s that big brown fish right on top, swimming towards the boat. We gaff him and the fish went ballistic in the boat. I jumped down the ladder and whacked him over the head a few times to welcome him aboard. I tell the customer that cobia aren’t a rare fish but we don’t catch them everyday. We go back to the same spot, and drop 2 lines down this time. Both get hit instantly and both were other big cobia. We boat those fish and we go back to the wreck for another drop and bammo, 2 more big cobia on. As we’re fighting these 2 up, I see a huge boil on the surface of the water, about where the second cobia should have been. The fish starts screaming line off the reel and then, goes completely slack. I was like, “damn, he just got bit off.” We got the other fish in the boat and wound up the one on the rod that got eaten. The head was eaten off just behind the gill plates. It must have been a giant bull shark or some other jurassic sea monster, but I never saw it. The head of the cobia that was eaten was bigger than the heads of any of the other cobias and the biggest one we got in the boat was 43 lbs, so it was a big one. 4 and a 1/2 cobias at the same spot. We went back to the wreck to try a couple more drops of coarse, but after the one got eaten, we never got another bite. It was a pretty awesome day of bottom fishing. And its kinda funny ’cause after the first one, I told the customer we don’t catch them all that often, HAHAHA.
Shark are still biting also. A few big hammerheads being caught and some sand bar sharks are showing up too. Dolphin are biting a little in close, mostly schoolie size ones, but from the radio chatter I’ve heard there are some bigger one’s offshore. I haven’t been out there this week myself. Maybe I’ll venture offshore tommorrow to give it a shot. Anyway, good luck out there guys. ‘Till next week….