Another great week of fishing in Fort Lauderdale. Dolphin continue to bite well in 300-600ft of water. They are scattered but if you spend some time looking for them, they’re out there to be found. Trolling is the best technique to catch dolphin as you can cover a lot of territory and fish different depths and zones until you find a lucrative area that looks lively. Weeds, birds, floating debris are all golden when you are looking for mahi-mahi. Dolphin range anywhere from 5-40 pounds this time of year, much larger than the average size the rest of the year. This is the month the bigger dolphin show up in south Florida and do their annual spawn. Plenty of other fish are biting, but dolphin are the most popular… everyone wants to catch dolphin. They are good eating, good fighters, an awesome gamefish and they put on a cool show with their jumping and head shaking while on the line. Not to mention they are about the prettiest fish in the ocean with all their colors lit up.
Tunas are also biting out there, lots and lots of them. They are schooling up and balling up all the baitfish, busting them on the surface. They are pretty easy to catch this time of year and not hard to find. You can see them almost a mile away, lots of whitewater on the surface as they bust the small baitfish they have corralled up to the top of the water in a piranha-like fashion. A lot of the tunas we are catching a football sized fish, which aren’t big, but there are no size limits on tunas so they are keepers and the small ones are great eating. A few bigger ones are also biting here and there, in the same areas. The bigger ones tend to stay deeper, underneath the smaller busting tunas on the surface. Natural feathers work very well for tunas when trolling or natural ballyhoo work well too. Don’t forget fluorocarbon as tunas shy away from heavy leaders or wire.
When action on the troll slows down or you just can’t find any pelagics, look to wreck fishing to save the day. There are some really big fish around the wrecks this time of year. Amberjacks are perhaps the most fun, strongest fighting fish in the ocean to give you a good workout on your rod. May is one of the top months of they year to catch amberjacks around our shipwreck in 200-400ft of water. They are incredibly aggressive fish so if you’re in a good spot (like a shipwreck), you don’t need to wait long to get a bite. They are either there or they aren’t. If you don’t get a bite in 3-5 minutes when fishing a wreck, try a different wreck. And wreck fishing also got another boost this month. Grouper season is finally open!!! Black groupers are biting great around the wrecks. Having not been harassed for the past 4 months, groupers have recovered and are now repopulating their usual holes. Snappers too, vermillion and mutton snappers are biting on the deep wrecks and can add color and flavor to your day’s catch.
There’s plenty of nice fish biting this month, you just have to go out there and put in your time. Some days are better than others, but there isn’t any month of the year that has more potential for big fish and good catches than fishing the month of May in south Florida. From dolphin, wahoo and tuna to amberjacks, grouper and snappers, there are plenty of fish out there to be had. Good luck to everyone fishing this month. I’ll sea ya on the water!
Capt. Paul Roydhouse