The dolphin bite happening offshore of Fort Lauderdale this year is outta this world and the best I have seen in many years. So many of our trips are coming in with unforgettable dolphin catches these past couple weeks. The dolphin are scattered in anywhere from 200ft to 800ft of water offshore of Ft Lauderdale. They are hanging near any kind of weedline or scattered debris you can find floating out there. Our most successful fishing trips have been made by trolling artificial and rigged dead baits on the surface, trolling pretty fast and trying to cover as much territory as we can. This is the most efficient way to fish dolphin as you need to ‘put in the miles’ to find them. You still don’t catch them every trip. I don’t want to make it seem like you can go out and catch these dolphin on demand with no effort involved. You need to go out trolling, cover a ton of territory, use every fishing trick you know and then still get lucky to catch them. Fortunately, we always do this no matter what the conditions, so when the fish are actually present and biting, it makes it looks just plain easy!
The wahoo and tuna are biting pretty decent out there too. They travel in the same waters as mahi-mahi so it only makes sense that we’re getting into some of them as well. Wahoo like to hang around any kind of floating debris, so when we find a nice hunk of wood floating, we know we’ve hit the honey hole. Wahoo also bite very good around both the full and the new moon phases, right on the reef. Tunas are hungry and voracious feeders. They eat constantly so you will find them around anywhere where there are masses of small baitfish. The birds are the best method to find tuna and a savvy captain and troll near the tuna schools without getting too close and scarring them deep. Tunas are skittish, so you need to give them a wide berth when trolling the outskirts of the school. If you are too far away, you won’t get the bite but if you are too close, you’ll scare the school deep. It’s a fine line, but we can usually get near enough to catch them. With tunas and wahoo mixed in, our dolphin catches are even better.
Kingfish, barracuda, sailfish and more are also being caught trolling the reef and inside edge of the Gulfstream. We’re getting them here and there, about average for this time of year. Dolphin are the most desirable for their supreme edibility though, so all other fish take a back seat to them. Wreck fishing is particularly good this month. Amberjacks, grouper, cobia and sharks are all inhabitants of our local shipwrecks and all of these are biting strong this time of year. We’re only 4 days away from groupers coming back into season, so get ready for that! Monster sharks are taking advantage of the plethora of good eating big game fish around these wrecks, a prime hunting ground for these apex predators. Amberjacks are probably the strongest fish we catch, pound for pound, and are biting really good this month. If you want to try to get some quick action on some big game species, wreck fishing can be lucrative. Pull up on the up-current side of a shipwreck and drop a live bait down to the bottom. There are some sea monsters hanging around these wrecks. Amberjacks don’t leave a bait unmolested for any length of time. They feed on sight and instantly eat any baitfish that looks like an easy meal. We have another month of the great amberjack fest around the local shipwrecks.
It’s a great month to come fishing in Fort Lauderdale so if you have a chance, this is the best time of year to fish in Fort Lauderdale. Just about everything is biting. We’re still at the mercy of how the fish cooperate with us, but most of our fishing charters do extremely well this time of year. You can’t ask for better potential on a half day charter. Grab the family and Let’s Go Fishing!
Capt. Andy Roydhouse