What a bite! The dolphin fishing in Fort Lauderdale is going off this week. Big dolphin are showing up between 180-600ft offshore Fort Lauderdale. They are biting best on the strong east winds, days when the waters are rough and choppy. Trolling is the most effective way to target dolphin fish. Just start trolling around, covering different depths and zones until you find an area that looks ‘fishy’. Good indicators that you are in a good zone are: stacked up seaweed or other debris floating, a color or current change and the best indicator are the birds. Frigate birds are the best way to find the bigger dolphin. They have the bird’s-eye-view out there. Find the birds and find the fish. All our biggest dolphin this week were caught chasing the frigate birds around.
The dolphin aren’t just jumping in the boat. You have to go looking for them and put in the time to be successful. Dolphin fishing is not action packed, in fact, it’s kind of slow fishing. Hours and hours without a bite, but when you do find them its the most fun, extreme action imaginable. A wise fisherman once said that dolphin fishing is hours of boredom interrupted by a moment of panic. In you’re fishing Fort Lauderdale, start trolling about a mile offshore and head offshore. Keep note of where you see the best waters. Look for seaweed. Seaweed is the most identifiable clue that an area has good potential to hold fish. Seaweed stacks up along a current edge, known as a weedline, which is an extremely good zone to fish and a convenient ‘line’ to troll along. Large pelagic fish patrol weedlines because baitfish use the seaweed as cover and refuge to hide from predatory fish. Find the baitfish and the larger gamefish aren’t usually far behind.
Wreck fishing deserves a big mention in today’s report. Some of the biggest fish we’re catching these days, amberjacks and cobia, are hanging around our deep, sunken shipwrecks. These wrecks are havens for clouds of baitfish and you guessed it, big game predators. This is amberjack season and most of the wrecks have a slew of big jacks hanging out waiting for a disoriented baitfish to swim past. Barracudas, cobia, sharks and more also hunt near these shipwrecks. Any wreck in 200-400ft of water is likely to have some big fish in the area. On our fishing charters, we like to go ‘wreck hopping’. This is a technique where we go to a shipwreck, drop a live bait down to the bottom and give it a couple minutes. If we get a bite, we fish it more. If no bite in a couple minutes, we wind it up and go try a different spot. We don’t fish any particular spot very long because the bigger bottom fish (the ones we are after) are aggressive feeders. This is a fast paced, good method to hit a bunch of wrecks if you’re out on a half day charter.
Sharks are still biting strong too. The migration of big hammerheads, dusky, thresher, mako and bull sharks is happening now. We’re about a month into the shark season and we have another 2 months to go. Shark fishing off the coast of Fort Lauderdale is EPIC. Some of the biggest sea monsters able to be caught on rod and reel swim right past our coast. There is a lot of available food here this season. They are here and they are hungry, so if you want to catch a giant gamefish, there’s nothing larger and more exciting to be caught than a mammoth gameshark. All in all, this is the hottest fishing season of the year for south Florida. Come out on a fishing charter with us and let’s see if we can’t catch you a memory to last a lifetime. I’ll sea ya on the water!
Capt. Andy Roydhouse