The fishing in Fort Lauderdale this week is heating up. Some big mahi-mahi are showing up in 350-600ft of water. They are congregating along weedlines that have formed or of course, floating debris too. The sargassum weed, which was so unmanageable to fish around last month because it was everywhere and so much of it, has quelled to a much more manageable level. Currents and winds have moved the weed to form along nice lines that are easy to troll along. These seaweed patches are basically nurseries for small fish, crabs, shrimp and all the stuff that these mahi-mahi love to eat. Remember with fishing and finding fish, it’s all about the food. A rare wahoo will also be lurking along these weedlines, lower in the water column but ready to pounce on any delicious baitfish that crosses their path. On these offshore trolling trips, patience is a pre-requisite. You need to spend a lot of time out there trolling along, looking for stuff to fish to and trying different depths and zones. It’s a lot of downtime in between bites (if you can find them at all). But if you do, it’s all worth it. One sizeable school can load your fishbox in one fell swoop. I always tell my customers dolphin fishing is “hero or zero”. You either catch a lot of them and it’s a great day, or it’s a long day of trolling without any action. Fortunately, lately the dolphin bite is good and producing most days we’ve tried it.
The best action, for numbers of fish, is on the reef which is just a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Our waters get deep quick, so 1 mile offshore we are already in over 100ft of water. Fishing on the reef has a lot more variety with some pretty good sized fish mixed in. Lately, bonitos and kingfish are making up the majority of our catches. Also, blackfin tunas are around in small pods patrolling the outside edge of the reef. We’re catching quite a few of them lately, many of them very decent sized ones. We just had the full and near full moon over the past few nights, which is helping to get a select few big wahoo biting for us. They are always awesome to catch. Sailfish numbers are very slim lately, hardly any around right now. A lucky charter boat will get one every now and then. Sailfish usually begin in mid-September, so we have something to look forward to soon.
Wrecks are producing some fish, although not the size of the fish or numbers that we catch in the Spring months. Still, a few groupers and lots of snappers are biting. Vermillion snappers, hard to get but definitely attainable are biting in the 250-350ft depth contours of the Continental Shelf. Mixed in with them are button snappers, yelloweye snappers, a few snowy groupers and the medium sized jacks, both almaco and lesser amberjacks.
Overall, the our Fort Lauderdale fishing charters are producing some really good catches. That doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee that all kinds of fish are going to bite everyday, we still have slow days too. But the fish are out there and they can be caught, and that’s all I hope for whenever I go fishing. Good luck to everybody fishing this week. I’ll sea ya on the water.
Capt. Andy Roydhouse
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