The wahoo and sailfish bite is on fire off the coast of Fort Lauderdale this week. Wahoos are biting right on the reef in as shallow as 80 feet of water. Sailfish too are making a strong surge in their numbers, with our boats averaging 2-3 per day. This is to be expected in February. As the fronts move through and the barometer drops, the fishing action heats up. Wahoo are biting best on the troll and are slamming the deep baits. Wire leaders are a must as those razor sharp teeth will cut through anything not made of steel. We’re also catching a few wahoo live baiting, either out of the kites or slow trolling live baits from of the outriggers. The numbers of wahoo we’re catching on our sportfishing charters this year is extraordinary.
Sailfish action remains strong through the depths of 90-150ft of water, also known as “Sailfish Alley”. Kite fishing is the most effective method to catch sailfish and they are eating goggle eyes, pilchards and mullet baits the best. Trolling can also be effective for sailfish, as you cover much more water when trolling, but kite fishing is still the best. The cooler weather coming this week should get them even more stirred up. February is traditionally the last really good month on sailfish here in Fort Lauderdale and it looks like February is going to finish off an already great season with a bang.
Tunas, kingfish and mahi-mahi are also patrolling the reef and add a little variety to our catches these days. Look forward to some awesome mahi-mahi fishing towards the end of the month and into March. Last year was outstanding mahi-mahi fishing as the mahi-mahi came into 100-300ft of water during any easterly wind. Tunas are mostly small, but they school up and we catch a lot of them when we find a school. Sometimes bigger tunas are mixed in with the small tunas and will make a fatal mistake of taking our baits. They all taste good!
Wreck fishing for amberjacks is also starting to get good. During the spring months, the amberjacks school up in the wrecks so thick that you can hardly get a bait down to the bottom. They are already starting to make their presence known and are getting more and more aggressive when fishing around our local wrecks. Groupers, out of season now, are also biting good. Fun to catch and it hurt to have to throw back such a tasty fish. I’ve been seeing more and more groupers since the grouper season took effect so the regulations they are making are working. We’re stocking up for the rest of the year, so book your grouper charters now (anytime after May 1).
Shark fishing season is also getting underway. February is the start of our shark fishing season where thousands upon thousands of hammerhead sharks make their migration down our coastline. This is our Big Game fishing season here in Fort Lauderdale and we’re beginning to catch our first few of the year now. Shark season lasts well into June and sometimes through as late as August. March through May are the peak months. Good luck to everyone fishing out there over the next couple weeks. You have plenty of fish to keep yourself busy with reeling in!