Action on the reefs has been hot with lots of bonitos and kingfish biting. Bonitos are still biting in full force, but we should be nearing the end of their migration, so we may only have another couple weeks of good bonito fishing. Kingfish on the other hand, generally bite well for us in late August and September. The kings have been biting alongside the bonitos, same depths of water and the same baits. Drift fishing has been very productive lately. Most of our trips have been action packed with some really nice fish coming over the side. Kingfish have been averaging in the 4-10 pound range, with a few bigger kingfish here and there. Our day time drift fishing trips are also catching some nice yellowtail snappers. Yellowtail snappers have been biting very well for us during the day drift trips as well as our night anchor trips. Yellowtails have been nice sized ones too, most of them being at least 2 pounds.
The drift fishing has been great, but the sportfishing has been where we’re catching the really big game fish. This summer has been excellent season for us for catching hammerhead sharks, sailfish, smoker big wahoo, and big jacks and cudas. Kite fishing on the days when we have enough wind has been effective for the summer sailfish bite. Winter has traditionally always been the best time of year to catch sailfish, but sailfish are one of those species where there’s always a few of them around. Sharks too, are year round feeders off the Fort Lauderdale coast, and although spring is high season for sharks, there’s always a few big game sharks swimming off our coast.
Wrecks have been holding some really big fish lately too. Big amberjacks are hanging thick on deep shipwrecks. Occasionally, you’ll get really lucky with a black, gag or warsaw grouper. On the shallow wrecks, we’ve been pulling live baits around using downriggers and catching some giant barracuda. Also around the shallow wrecks this time of year are mutton snappers and the odd-ball cobia. Wreck hopping, a tactic we use of dropping a quick bait on a wreck, waiting a few minutes and moving to another wreck, has been a great fishing technique for catching some quick monster sized fish. The great thing about fishing this way, is that you either get the bite right away, or you’re moving to another spot where the fish are hopefully a bit more aggressive. You usually don’t have to dangle a live bonito or blue runner for very long around a wreck to get a bite.
Dolphin fishing offshore has continued to be very hit or miss. We’ve gone out on a few dolphin trips lately, with varying results. A couple trips were very successful for us, when we found a school of schoolie dolphins, or found a big board or log floating, which was loaded with fish. A couple other trips offshore were completely dead with literally nothing biting out there. The dolphins have definitely NOT made their summer run down the coast this year yet, but it should be soon. If I remember correctly, last summer Florida fishing was fairly slow on dolphin until late August as well, and they stayed biting long into September for us. Hopefully, we’ll get a repeat of that this year and they’ll start biting red hot in the next few days. Good luck to everyone going fishing this week. There are some nice fish to be caught out there, you just have to try hard for them. Sea ya on the water.