August in Fort Lauderdale is hot… The weather usually reaching the lows 90’s by late morning we are thankful for the sea breeze that finally comes along, though there is no wind chill for 90 degrees…
As for the fishing here in Ft. Lauderdale, if you want action, this can be one of the best times of year to bend the rod. The action is usually steady with the fish on the reef biting every few minutes.
Summertime means Bonitos and a lot of them. These fierce fighters are of poor eating quality but a blast to catch, especially on light tackle. They will hit the top baits early morning and late afternoon, but as the water warms, retreat to deeper water and be caught on the deep lines. It is not unusual to catch multiple fish at one time, a sort of “Chinese fire drill” as most lines go down with bites from these fish.
Kingfish are also a main summertime player, being caught mostly on the deep lines throughout the day. They average 6 to 10 pounds with a few bigger fish being caught. The smaller fish are the best for eating if eaten fresh as these fish do not freeze well. They can be frozen if they are to be smoked.
As we fish for these fish on the reef, we also encounter a few Sailfish from time to time. While not the numbers we get in the winter, Sailfish are in our area almost year-round to some degree. Blackfin Tuna also can be caught as they travel in small numbers with the Bonitos that are here. Both these species will diminish in another month only to reappear in October when we start all over again.
With all this activity going on so close to shore, it only stands to reason that predators be close by to take advantage of the situation. The picture attached to this report shows a family from yesterday. They spent 5 hours fishing with forty minutes of that time involved catching and releasing a 105” Bull Shark as represented by the flag being held. Missing from the photo are a few Kingfish that were used for bait, as well as the Captain and Mate whom were taking the pictures. They really didn’t need us in their picture anyway…
There are times we venture from trolling the reef to fishing the bottom, just to change things up a bit. Mutton Snapper, Amberjack and even some Grouper can be caught on both the shallow and deeper wrecks and artificial reefs.
As we venture away from the reef and head offshore, fishing has been erratic to say the least. Dolphin (Mahi-mahi), a normal player in our summertime fishing, has not been biting well. Some serious good luck has been needed to find these fish this year. The boys we had on just a few weeks ago had that serious good luck with them and caught a nice 23 pounder so it does pay to get out there and give it a try.
As we head offshore further, we get to the Swordfish grounds. The bite has been off for the last month or so, with mostly smaller fish being caught when the bite comes. As with all fishing, you just never know.
Well, that’s it for August. Plenty of action and fish here off Fort Lauderdale’s shore. So, in the immortal words of Jimmy Buffet…
“Time to stop wishin’
Time to go fishin’…”
Hope to see you soon.