The fishing has been incredible in Fort Lauderdale the past few days. Dolphin and Wahoo are biting offshore, Sharks and Sailfish are showing up on the reef and there is good action on Snappers and Amberjacks around the local shipwrecks. This is the season when our sportfishing trips really shine.
I’ll start off with the Sailfish bite as October is the beginning of our Sailfish season in Fort Lauderdale. The numbers of Sailfish we catch during this season are better than any other time of the year.
From now through January, when the weather gets cooler, the Sailfish bite is excellent. We catch most of our Sailfish in 100-150 foot of water. It is about a mile off our coast and because of all the fish, we call it “Sailfish Alley”.
We catch Sailfish by trolling or live baiting. The most effective Sailfish technique is kite fishing, where we fly kites that dangle live baits. The live baits are suspended so that they splash on the surface of the water, creating vibrations that game fish can pick up on using their specialized “lateral line” organ which senses these fish vibrations. The splashing live baits attract inquisitive game fish from quite a distance. This is the best method for catching the many surface feeding game fish, especially for Sailfish, Sharks, Bull Dolphin.
On today’s trip, we caught a monster Hammerhead Shark using this technique. It is an exciting way to fish, because you get to view the entire bite sequence. When a big fish comes up to the surface and chases the bait splashing around on the top of the water, there is no way for the game fish to get the bait into its mouth without sticking part of its body out of the water. With the big Sharks and Sailfish, they’ll hit the air so high both the dorsal fin and tail are fully out of the water, and what a sight this is. Kingfish and Barracuda actually skyrocket on the bait, jumping straight up to 15 feet, and usually chop the bait in half in the air. Getting a game fish bite while kite fishing adds a great deal of excitement to the catch..
There has also been good fishing action bottom fishing around the shipwrecks . Amberjacks, a big game fish, have been biting good this week. We catch these using live baits on heavy rods, dropping baits to the bottom.
Vermilion Snappers, a smaller fish which is excellent eating, are also biting good. We catch these around the wrecks too, dropping a multiple hook rig baited with squid chunks. You never know what else you may catch fishing around the deep wrecks. Offshore, the dolphin and Wahoo are biting.
October is one of the top months for big Wahoo and we’re just beginning to catch our first few. We caught a 30 pounder yesterday afternoon on our sportfishing trip.
Dolphin are also showing up offshore. You can find dolphin trolling in the Gulf Stream, especially near weed-lines and any floating debris you find. This is a great time of year for fishing in Fort Lauderdale. Good luck to everyone fishing with us this week.