We’ve launched into the Holiday Season and here in South Florida, the only colors changing are those of Mahi Mahi and Sailfish as we bring them along boatside. Here at Fantastic Sportfishing, we’re in the thick of the Fall Bite in the beautiful South Florida offshore fishery.
As we always make a point to do, we’d like to thank everyone who fished with us during October and those who intend to fish with us in November. Without you, we don’t get an opportunity to fish. We greatly appreciate your business and hope that you’ll come back to see us soon, especially our junior anglers who are looking forward to the upcoming holidays and holiday travel to visit family and friends. Keep in mind that Fantastic Fishing has trips available this holiday season should your travels bring you to tropical South Florida.
The crisp, fall weather has brought various schools of baitfish and the top-level predators who follow them, especially Wahoo and Sailfish. Our morning and evening trips have been producing well for all of our clients as we put the rainy season , and the remnants of hurricane season, behind us.
Offshore Report: Time to Set Sail
Like most of our “snow birds” who make their way to South Florida to enjoy the winter months, the pods of Sailfish have begun to appear as they escape colder water and follow the huge schools of Ballyhoo as they make their way south down our beaches. We continue to catch Sailfish trolling the color changes between 100 feet and 300 feet of water. The Sailfish have been attacking Sea Witches (in blue/white and pink/white color combinations) trolled on the surface at 7 – 9 knots but the bite is switching over to live baits. Sailfish are starting to prefer live slow-trolled ballyhoos or goggle eyes dangling from a kite inside of 150 feet of water. The Sailfish bite will only get better as we make our way to Winter.
The Blackfin Tuna bite is epic right now! We’re averaging 15-20 Blackfin Tunas on every trip right now, with the size ranging from 8-12 pounds. We’re striking “black gold” up on the reefs inside of 200 feet of water trolling Sea Witches and Bonito Strips at 5 – 6 knots. The Tunas are keeping drags screaming and making for tasty dinners.
There are also “bullet” bontios mixed in with the tunas and we’re using them as live baits for Wahoo, Amberjack and Sharks. If you have not seen how we fish with live bonitos, check out this video:
Wahoo on the Full Moon!
The Wahoo bite around the recent full moon was one of the best so far. We’ve been catching Wahoo up to 20 pounds on our trips. If you’ve never seen the line melt off of a reel, you need to come aboard to fish for Wahoo. We’ve had great Wahoo bites between 300 feet and 800 feet of water trolling Islanders and bonito strips below the surface on planers, with a little quicker pace than when we troll for Mahi Mahi or Kingifish.
The Wahoo’s cousin, Kingfish, are plentiful in the 7 to 15-pound range between 80 and 120 feet of water, with bonito strips, lures and feathers trolled below the surface on planers producing the most fish. “Kings” have also attacked our live baits on the drift as we target Sailfish in 120 feet of water.
Shark Fishing Stays Solid:
The shark fishing continues to be steady with some epic catches mixed in. We continue to average between 1 and 2 sharks – or more -each trip. During the last few weeks, we’ve seen a flurry of Blacktips as they chase the migrating baitfish that head down just off of our beaches every Fall. We also caught a 250 pound Bull Shark and a few large Hammerheads on live bonitos or butterflied Kingfish dropped down in 300 feet of water.
Speaking of dropping down a live bonito, we’ve also caught huge, bruising Amberjacks on the reefs using live bonitos.
There are still plenty of migrating bait schools to enable you to take advantage of our Fall Tarpon Charters. Give us a call to book a trip with Fantastic Sportfishing.