May is one of my favorite times of year to fish here in Fort Lauderdale. Almost everything we catch is migrating one way or the other and each day is different. We truly have no idea what we might encounter from day to day.
Just coming off the full moon has slowed the Kingfish on the reef. These fish are very sensitive to the moon phase and on clear, full moon nights, have the ability to feed all night. The big ones have become scarce and the smaller ones are a bit finicky. But in the last few days, this has been improving as we distance ourselves from the big, bright moon.
One thing about May is the Tunas that come around. Blackfins, nice sized ones too, have been fairly frequent. Trolling has been getting us some bites of fish up to about 20-25 lbs. Live bait has had Blackfins over 30 lbs. These big Tuna are very tough to catch, finesse is always needed as they have soft mouths and hooks come out easily. It takes some smooth reeling and working the rod to bring them to the gaff.
Dolphin fishing (Mahi-Mahi) has been erratic. The fish we’ve been catching have mostly been good size but the numbers are lower than expected. Lately found quite far from shore, it’s been a gamble to try for them but if they are found, it’s worth it! Fish over 30 and 40 lbs. are being caught and the smaller ones in the 8 to 12 lbs. range.
Sailfish are everywhere from the reef area out to over 800 feet 6 to 8 miles from shore. Trolling has been the best method of catching since these fish are so spread out. Most live bait these days is used for pitch baits rather than kite fishing and trolling helps us cover some ground. And this time of year, you never know what may pop up as you drag those baits through the waters. A few Blue Marlin have popped up recently. Talk about exciting? Oh yeah!
The fact is May is a great time to fish here in Fort Lauderdale. You can expect a return of the Bonitos on the reef area, Mahi’s a bit further off shore and there’s always the chance of a Sail or other kind of billfish. So grab the kids, a few friends or clients and let’s get out there. Spending a few hours on the water catching some fish isn’t a bad way to waste a bit of time.
Keep em tight… Keep em on!