We’re having an outstanding fishing season this May, here in Ft Lauderdale. The ocean is alive with an abundance of fish this season. First off, the fishing on the reef is booming. King mackeral are biting strong in the 80′-150′ depth range. Drifting is probably the best method to catch kingfish this time of year, but trolling can be effective as well. The kingfish are averaging 6-10 pounds with a monster 25+ pounder mixed in once in a while. While drifting for kings, we’re also catching a lot of bonitos this time of year. What bonitos lack in dinner quality, they make up for in sheet fighting ability. No other fish it’s size puts on as good a battle as a bonito does. If they were good eating, they would be the perfect fish.
Grouper season has finnally opened up! After a 4 month closure, groupers are finally legal to catch and keep again. We’ve started our grouper season with a bang, hitting some nice sized red and gag groupers on the shallower spots, and some big blacks and warsaw grouper on our deep spots. Because of the grouper closure that we’ve been under, we haven’t been fishing our grouper spots at all, so they all well stocked. Cobia, another species of fish that live around the shipwrecks, are being caught here and there too. Amberjacks are the heavy hitters on the wrecks these days. They always come through our waters this season in mass numbers and congregate around the 200-300′ shipwrecks. They get to be humongous, 40-70 pounds and fight with trmendous brute force. The second they take the bait, an amberjack will take a hard, fast run to try and wrap you up around a peice of the wreck or a rock. When wreck fishing, as soon as we get the bite, the captain will throttle up the boat to try to ‘pull’ the big amberjack away from the wreck, eliminating his defenses. Once you get them away from the wreck, its a brutal Tug-o-War to get them to the boat. They are a really fun fish to catch.
Fishing the edge of the gulfstream is great this season also. On our sportfishing trips, we do a lot of kite fishing on the edge of the Gulfstream. Its a great area because a lot of migratory fish travel along that current edge while making their way northward. Kite fishing is a technique of fishing where we fly kites and dangle live baits from pressure release clips so that the baitfish is suspended and splashing right on the surface of the water. The coolest thing about this technique of fishing is that when the big game fish comes up to take the bait, he has to chase the baitfish around on the top of the water. This is an awesome show because the baitfish is always going nuts trying to get away, and the sailfish or shark is right on the surface going crazy tryuing to ge the baitfish in their mouth. Its really cool to watch and a very successful method to catch big game fish this time of year.
Offshore fishing is feast or famine, how it usually is. You can go out and find a school of dolphin, and load the box with fish. Or you can go out there and find nothing all day. Its a gamble, but it pays off bigtime if you find some schools of fish out there. One school of dolphin could have up to 50 fish in it. When it comes to offshore fishing, all you need is time, and the more time the better. I always reccomend a 6 or an 8 hour charter for fishing offshore, so that you have plenty of time to look around and cover lots of ground. If you find a nicely formed weedline, or a big piece of driftwood floating, or some frigate birds flying low to the water and circling, then there are probably some dolphin there.
The fishing lately in Ft Lauderdale has been great, and should continue to be great for a couple more months. There is a lot of variety around this season, which gives us a lot of options out there to bring back fish. Good luck to everyone out there fishing. Bring back a big one! Sea ya on the water.