Some big fish were caught this week fishing the waters of Fort Lauderdale. A few lucky anglers caught big mahi-mahi on some of our charters. This is the last good month we have of good mahi-mahi fishing for a few months. They aren’t biting as well as they were in April where you could find them without even looking, but they are still out there and they can be found. Sometimes in June, the dolphins form up into massive schools of fish offshore. It might take 6 hours of trolling to find them, but when you do, it’s like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Of you can troll for hundreds of miles without finding a fish. Offshore dolphin fishing is like roaming a desert and finding a school of dolphin is like finding an oasis in the middle of that desert. For dolphin, you have to put in your time so for the best bet, try our 8hr All Day Fishing Trip.
The best bet these days for good fishing action is trolling the reef. Trolling the reefs you can catch kingfish, blackfin tuna, bonito, barracuda and more. If you’re really lucky, you might hit a wahoo or even a rare sailfish. Trolling the reef is effective because you can troll over and cover a lot of ground. If you find a depth or zone that is producing fish, you can ‘work the area’ leading to even more action. This can lead to a boxful of fish if the fish are being cooperative. June through September is reef trolling season in Fort Lauderdale and the action gets really hot.
Drift fishing on the reefs is great fun too. June through September is when our drift fishing boat really shines. First off, there is surface and mid-depth action. This is the time of year you can go out on the drift boat and actually have a good chance at catching a big kingfish or blackfin tuna. Ask the deckhand to rig you with the “hero or zero” rig, not the standard bottom rig in order to catch these upper water column, larger fish. This rig gives you a good chance at catching something big, but lessens your chances at catching anything at all. So for most anglers, I recommend the bottom fishing rig to go after snappers… and June is one fine month for snapper fishing in Fort Lauderdale. Mangrove and mutton snappers spawn on and around the nights of the full moons in June through September. They get really aggressive and and throw caution to the wind to bulk up for spawning. We catch them better during these months than throughout the entire rest of the year. Snappers bite best later in the day so I recommend the afternoon drift trip or the night anchor trip for the best success.
On drift fishing trips, we catch the full spectrum of bottom fish from grunts and porkfish to sharks and groupers. The action on the bottom is pretty good. Most of these fish are pan sized, but almost all are good eating. Groupers are a possibility and they sometimes get big! Cobia are another big fish that frequently bites on our drift fishing trips. There are always a few around, they follow sea turtles around and other slow moving sea creatures. They bite sporadically when you least expect it, but this is a good time of year when there are more of them around, so you always have a chance. There’s a good variety of good fish biting on all our trips this month. Good luck to everyone fishing south Florida this week. I’ll sea ya on the water.
Capt. Paul Roydhouse