August usually signals the end of summer. While most of the country begins to experience cooler weather, here in Fort Lauderdale, we look at 2 more months of hot weather. This is the time of year that the waters offshore of Ft. Lauderdale are usually at their warmest and that affects the way we fish and what we catch.
I’m sure many of you have experienced going from the shore of a lake or into the water of an ocean and felt the thermo cline (difference in temperature) of the surface water and the deeper water it sits on. Fish, being cold blooded, are sensitive to this change, not only is it felt, but seen as well. It forms a layer of water that appears blurry to our eyes, like Vaseline spread on a piece of glass. This is the main reason that we switch from live bait fishing to trolling with our deep lines out this time of year. The fish stay deeper to avoid this area. Only the hungriest of fish will penetrate this barrier. This is also why the early morning or later afternoon will produce more bites.
Here in Fort Lauderdale, our fishing close to shore has been good to excellent. Kingfish are abundant most days, with the legal limit being caught fairly easily. Mixed in with the Kings are some Bonito, a few Barracuda, Blackfin Tuna and the occasional Sailfish. The last week or so has been excellent at raising some Sails. They have been biting regularly on the days we are out.
Further offshore, in 300 to 500’ or so, Wahoo have been a fairly regular fish being caught. If you are not familiar with this fish, check it out on the web. Excellent eating and an amazingly fast and strong swimmer, these fish truly make the reel “sing” when they strike. This seasons Dolphin fishing has been very lack luster here. While we have encountered them with extremely limited success, they have not been predominant as they usually are this time of year. Still, we hope for a happy ending to this summer with a late flurry of them showing up. They will be on the move and with the tropics heating up, the debris in the water from storms makes an excellent habitat for these fish.
While the days are hot, the nights are cooler, the Swordfish grounds have had some action. While not catching a fish every trip, the bites are there. The conditions determine how things go and with a little luck, a few bites AND fish can be had.
With the offshore Dolphin fishing being slow, we have been spending more time close and doing some bottom fishing with some great success. Amberjack are still on the deeper wrecks and reefs. Mutton Snapper, a few Yellowtails and Groupers are also being caught on both live and dead bait.
Thanks for your time, have a great day.
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.
This is the time of year Florida folks long for… When a cold front pushes through our area. The oppressive heat lowers as does the humidity and we stop complaining about how hot it is and begin complaining how cold it is. LOL
Being from Chicago, I call these “cool” fronts. As we relish temps in the 60-70’s, we also dig out our jeans, sweaters, jackets and gloves. Being a resident here for over 50 years now, I join those folks shivering on a early morning in the low 60’s.
What does this have to do with a fishing report you ask? Well, just as we change our clothes to endure, the fish must change their location to stay comfy. They do this by migrating south and Fort Lauderdale just happens to be right in a spot they pass by.
The Continental shelf lies just off our coast. With the Gulf Stream being miles off our shore with its north current, the fish move inside close to the coast to make their trip. And with each “cool” front that comes through, the temperatures in the water dip a little cooler. Welcome to our version of I-95 for fish!
Our catches change from mostly edible fish to game and sport fish. Sailfish and sharks are the top catches with other species mixed in. Most Mahi’s caught this time of year don’t have to be measured, they far exceed the legal minimum. Tuna become more prolific and Wahoo are also around. They like Tuna too. LOL
So at this time of year as you visit from somewhere up north, don’t be surprised at the clothes we might be wearing as you show up for your fishing trip with shorts and a T. There is a chance of filling the box with just one fish! And that’s saying something… LOL
As fall comes upon us, it is time to make some changes in our Fort Lauderdale fishing techniques. Cooler weather and shorter days have most our summertime fishes migrating south. While trolling is still used to some extent, we switch from dragging dead, rigged baits to slow trolling live baits. Small bullet Bonitos and Ballyhoo are my 2 favorites.
If the wind is up and blowing hard enough to get the kites up? That’s an option I like best! The kite supports the bait up on or near the surface. This causes the bait to struggle to get deeper and those struggling sounds are picked up by all types of fish. Sailfish, Dolphin and shark are the usual species, but any fish can be attracted.
Kite fishing also gives you a great chance of “seeing” what’s biting before they strike. The slashing of a Sailfish bill or the fin of a shark that has been attracted. The head wake of a Dolphin or maybe just a splash of a King or Tuna. While your crew is used to looking for these signs, even an untrained eye will pick up the obvious.
Lately trolling has slowed to some degree. The number of fish we catch each trip is declining. But the size of those fish is increasing. The Mahi of the summer are now 15-20 lbs.
With a slow bite, we turn to our wrecks and reefs, both shallow and deep. A live bait on some light tackle can add to the fun. But our deep drops don’t get the light tackle. The fish in the picture is the reason why.
This Black Grouper would make quick work of a 20 or 30 lb. setup. He would have found his way back into the rocks or structure. Now wouldn’t you hate to see that happen… LOL
Fort Lauderdale fishing. Get ready for some bigger game fish!
This is a GREAT time of year to be offshore of Fort Lauderdale fishing. You just don’t know what will bite. With all the bait migrating through the area and heading south down the coast, any species of fish can be present and give you a bite. As a friend of mine says, this is where opportunity meets preparedness!
Perhaps it is dinner you are after. Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna and more can be caught close to shore. Kingfish and Bonitos are always around to some degree and that Sailfish can make his presence known.
While many of the boats are starting to use live bait, I still prefer trolling. You cover more ground and even a quarter of a mile can make the difference between action and no action.
There is nothing more exciting than watching a Sailfish come up and make a pass or swat at one of your baits. Or seeing a Dolphin come in from 150 yards away, pulling a head wake, and charging one of your baits.
If the trolling isn’t producing, we shake things up with some kite fishing. Sometimes live bait will entice a bite when the trolling gear won’t. You can also hit the deep an shallow wrecks for some action on dead or live bait.
While I mostly do the sport fishing end of things, even our drift boat gets into the action. The picture above shows a Sail caught by one of our regular customers on our drift fishing boat. He also caught a nice Mutton Snapper that day.
No matter which type of fishing you choose, be it sport or drift, it is a great time of year to be off the coast of Fort Lauderdale fishing!
It has always amazed me how much a few degrees of temperature can make such a difference. Fort Lauderdale fall fishing is upon us. To be out on the sea when it is 87 degrees is much more comfortable than say… 95. LOL Let’s drop that humidity down too. That also makes a big change in how things feel.
Our days are getting shorter and with that comes less time for the sun to heat the ocean. The cooling waters start the migration of baitfish, usually seen in schools of finger Mullet. And right on time, they have appeared.
With schools of baitfish on the move to the south, all sorts of fish species follow, the most popular is the Mahi-mahi. Generally found in deeper waters, this time of year they come in close to the coast. With all that bait traveling by it is a feast of bonanza proportion for them as well as us. These are not the schooling fish we find in the summer. Those fish we have to measure and throw back the little ones. These are the nice sized Dolphin that can give quite the tussle.
With the sea temperatures dropping October also is a good time of year for Wahoo. While we catch these year-round, October is known for better than average catches. Again, these are sizable fish on the move following their food source.
While we as crew are delighted with just these 2 species being around I get to say… But wait! There’s more! LOL
Fort Lauderdale fall fishing also includes better than average Sailfish action. We are generally trolling to catch fish and get ample shots at sailfish in October and November. But it is also the time of year we start back using live bait. That cooler water I spoke of makes it easier for the fish to come to the surface. Whether on the troll or live baiting with kites, both are an excellent and exciting way to catch Sails.
Cooler temperatures and catching fish, that’s what Fort Lauderdale fall fishing has for you.
If you are fishing Fort Lauderdale, you will notice it is not very crowded out on the ocean. This is our slow time of year business wise. People are more concerned about getting back into the routine of the kids back in school than a vacation in our little paradise down here.
I sometimes wonder if the fish know it is slow for business. They seem to bite better when we are not out there. LOL They cannot possibly know this, can they?
Decent sized Mahi, Tuna and soon, Wahoo, are around. October is one of our best times of year for some nice sized Wahoo as well as other species. But with few trips, we don’t get the chance to be out there fishing for them.
Throughout the year, our guests come aboard and exclaim what a great we, as in the crew, have. And it is true! We DO have great jobs. After all, we get to go fishing each day. But this is the time of year that we fix, repair and paint the boats so they are nice and pretty when you come down for your vacation.
2 things are unfortunate about doing this type of work in September and October. It is very hot and during some days it rains at least once a day.
All in all, if you are not out there fishing right now, you are missing some great fish. Things are going to improve in the next few weeks as well so if your schedule allows it? Make the time. It is a great time of year for fishing Fort Lauderdale.
August began sort of so-so but as you will see in this Fort Lauderdale fishing report, things are heating up here off our coast.
The biggest change has been the fishing offshore of Fort Lauderdale. Recent all-day trips have been very successful in both Swordfish and Mahi-mahi.
Our most recent Swordfishing trip netted us 2 nice bites. Both decent fish between 150-200 lbs. While we were able to see the fish, we were not able to get either into the boat. Our guests were delighted with the fight and the sights, but as you can imagine, Capt. Jimmy and crew were decimated.
It’s always that last little bit that gives the most trouble. With less line out, each time the fish moves, it has a more direct impact on the hook and where it is set. This is true for most any type of fish and NO fish is excited about their first boat ride… LOL
Our next all-day trip was strictly for Dolphin. Since it was the same guest and with the heart break the day before, They decided to make another day drop for a Sword. In their travels, they did find Dolphin and ended up with a nice catch. This was repeated a few days later with Mahi’s being found much closer to shore than the day before, only about 7-8 miles off the coast. I guess a Swordfish Just wasn’t in the cards for this customer.
On the Reef
Closer to shore where our shorter 4- and 6-hour trips fish, we are finding Bonitos and Kings biting well. Much better than in recent weeks. The drift fishing boat has also been doing well in this area with assorted snapper and other reef fish as well as a few Kings and Bonitos.
It’s all about fishing and catching something. And having fun doing it. And we have been.
With the kids back in school, at least here. Fort Lauderdale, we enter our slow down season. That’s as far as the business end of things, the fishing still goes on. LOL
Kingfish and Bonitos are being caught in the area of the reef close to shore. Trolling has been the best way to catch them and a few have been on the large size. Very unusual for this time of year. We will continue to catch Bonitos for a bit longer and as always, Tuna can be mixed in with those schools
But as we enter September and October, things begin to change. Tuna and Wahoo become much more frequent and the big bomber Bonitos leave us. Their offspring becoming our bullets or baby Bonitos and an excellent type of live bait. These baits will attract large Wahoo, Kings and Sailfish in just a few weeks.
Bottom fishing has been good with the deep wrecks and reefs providing us with some nice snappers of various types. The drift boat has been doing well on the anchor trip which targets these species.
But what has been very unusual time of year has been some of the exotic sharks being caught. While summertime usually leaves us with Bull and Sandbar sharks, Threshers and even a big Tiger shark have been caught.
Tiger sharks have a nasty disposition and are never docile when next to the boat, so getting a good picture of them can be tough. In the picture I posted, you can see the spots very faintly. This fish was tired after the battle and they lose their color in that state. When excited or fresh, these spots are much brighter and more predominant. I won’t begin the discussion of why these weren’t called Leopard sharks… LOL
Anyway, that’s been our fishing here off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Wahoo, Tuna and soon Mahi-mahi are all coming soon. Hope to see you…