Reefs and Wrecks Holding Big Fish in Fort Lauderdale

Capt Rod and Mick posing with a black grouper at the marina.

Nice black grouper caught deep dropping on a shipwreck during our sportfishing charter.

The Fort Lauderdale reefs and wrecks are holding some nice fish this week.  First off, the wrecks are working great.  In years past, Fort Lauderdale was involved in the Artificial Reef Program and sank dozens of large, retired vessels to make good habitat for fish.  Shallow spots were great for divers, creating a fun location to dive and view fish.  Deeper wrecks in the 200-300ft range, made good spots for fishermen to target deep dwelling bottom fish.  We’ve perfected our technique for fishing shipwrecks.  Using live baits, we can target a specific structure (like a big sunken shipwreck) to go after big game fish.  We drop a single live bait to the bottom and allow the current to carry our boat and bait over, along and past the sunken structure.  This is a fast, efficient way to go after amberjacks, almaco jacks, several species of large groupers and cobia.  We catch other species at times too such as barracuda, sharks and snapper.  Wreck fishing is a great technique this time of year to catch some of the biggest and hardest fighting fish available in our waters.

Nice tuna and bonito just caught trolling the Ft Lauderdale reef.

Nice blackfin tuna and bonito caught fishing the Fort Lauderdale reef.

Reefs are beginning to hold a lot of fish.  Tunas are scattered all over the reefs these days.  Most of them are smaller tunas, football size on average, but there is no size limit on tunas and they are numerous.  A few larger blackfin tunas are also mixed into these same tuna schools so you never know how big of a tuna you might catch when trolling the reef.  Kingfish are biting stronger and stronger everyday.  Summertime is kingfish season here in south Florida.  It’s not the time for the lonely smoker kingfish but rather the time for lots of medium sized ones.  The best bet to target kingfish is trolling the reefs, covering as much ground as you can, and sticking to whatever depth or zone is giving you the best action.  The depth/area of greatest concentration of kingfish is generally where the best concentration of all the other fish too.  Bonitos are starting to show up.  In another month, they will be so solid on the reef that you can walk on them.  Bonitos will hang right in there with the kingfish and tunas.  Wahoo, although less common, are also a possibility when trolling the reef, which is the best method to target wahoo as well.  Basically, the action on the reef in the summer is as hot as the weather.

Exhausted angler holding a big amberjack just brought up from the deep

Nice amberjack just fought up from the bottom by this exhausted angler

There’s good variety on both the reefs and wrecks this month.  If you’re after mahi-mahi, you have a chance to catch them if you go offshore and look for them.  They can be hard to find and we come back skunked sometimes if we put all our eggs into one basket and head offshore for the long shot.  Mahi-mahi are around this month but they are hit or miss.  You have to put in your time looking for them and then you have to get lucky and actually find them.  For dedicated anglers that are solely after mahi-mahi, they are exciting and awesome to find.  It’s just with so much action on the reefs and wrecks, its hard to leave high percentage fish to go try to look for low percentage fish.  For those willing to go for the gusto, it does sometimes pay off.  A few good dolphin catches have been caught this week.

Nice mahi caught on our sportfishing charter.

Lucky angler with a nice mahi-mahi caught on an offshore sportfishing charter.

There are fish biting in Ft Lauderdale on all our different fishing trips.  Drift fishing trips are a fun, inexpensive way to get out on the water and go after snappers, groupers, jacks and other small bottom fish.  Sportfishing charters sacrifice action in order to catch larger size gamefish and trophy sharks.  Our 8 hour shared charter gives us a lot of time to try a variety of different fishing techniques which can lead to a diverse catch of many different species (some really big ones).  This is a GREAT month to go fishing in south Florida.  Good luck to all the anglers fishing with us this week.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Nice mahi caught trolling offshore Ft Lauderdale.

Someone is eating mahi for dinner tonight. Nice mahi catch on our sportfish charter.