Mixed Bag of Fish Christmas Week
Capt. Paul Roydhouse
December 29, 2015
Fort Lauderdale - Saltwater Fishing Report
We're fishing non-stop on all our daily trips this week. Lots of action on the drift boat and sportfishing boats. Our drift boat is catching good numbers of snappers, with some king mackerels mixed in and a few groupers. The sportfishing charters are hitting a few sailfish, scattered mahi-mahi dolphin, a rare wahoo and some kings and blackfin tunas. The wreck are holding a few fish too such as grouper and amberjack. The breezy weather we're getting this past week has been good fishing conditions for some of our best gamefish. Activity on the top of the water creates activity beneath.
First off, there is a great black grouper bite happening in Fort Lauderdale. Our sportfishing boats are catching them around the wrecks by dropping live baits and waiting for the bite. Our drift fishing trips are catching some groupers too by using cut bait and bottom fishing on the reefs. The black groupers are biting stupendously and are great to see. This is the best I've seen the black groupers bite in years. Around the wrecks, we're also sometimes hitting a big amberjack or even an elusive cobia. Both are big fish are put up excellent fights.
On our sportfishing charters, trolling is generally the best method to cover the most ground and catch the most fish. Trolling the reefs this time of year can yield anything. Some mahi-mahi are coming in close and biting in only 150ft of water. Wahoo, blackfin tuna, barracuda, and sailfish are also possible catches on the troll in this zone and all are biting this season. Although there are more effective ways to target sailfish, trolling is the best all-around fishing technique where you can catch just about anything.
Drift fishing trips are catching good catches of snappers. Our morning and afternoon trips go drifting on the reef for snappers, sometimes groupers, kingfish and anything else that bites. A few kingfish are biting on mid-depth and surface baits. Bottom fishing yields the most action and the best technique to catch snapper and grouper. Snappers always bite the absolute best at night and our night trip has been coming in with some respectable catches this week. Yellowtails are biting in great numbers on our night anchor trip, as well as some larger sized mangrove and mutton snappers. Groupers, jacks, porgies, grunts and lots of other bottom species make up our night anchor trip catches.
Kite fishing, a form of live baiting we do in stiff wind condtions, is probably the all-around best technique to catch sailfish off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. On our sportfishing charter, we often fly 2 kites and dangle live baits from it so that the baits are suspended on the surface of the water, away from the boat. This technique keeps the baitfish struggling on the surface to keep their heads underwater and in doing so, they transmit fish-in-distress signals. Sailfish, mahi-mahi and big game sharks cannot resist this technique and although we don't catch as many fish as we can on the troll, we have the potential to catch our area's largest and most sought after gamefish. We catch almost all our biggest fish doing this fishing technique and it's really awesome to see the gamefish come up to the surface, attacking the bait.
All in all, it's a great time of year to come fishing in Fort Lauderdale. The action is great, some good variety and some of our biggest gamefish of the year will be caught. Don't shy away from fishing on the roughest days. The days with wind and rain, low pressure and rough seas, are generally the best we catch our greatest catches. Good luck on the water this week. I'll sea ya on the water.
Capt. Andy Roydhouse
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