Good Variety Being Caught on our Sportfishing Charters
Capt. Paul Roydhouse
January 6, 2017
Fort Lauderdale - Saltwater Fishing Report
It's been a good week for fishing here in Ft Lauderdale. There's a nice variety of fish biting on the reef and edge of the Gulfstream. Trolling is working very well for kingfish, tuna, bonito, barracuda and sometimes mahi-mahi and wahoo. An elusive sailfish is caught every now and then too. Trolling is the best technique for catching action on our trips because we can cover a lot of territory and try different depths and zones to find the fish. If we're trolling and we hear over the radio that there is a good bite happening in 150ft of water down to the south, we just steer that direction and head off the fish. If we're trolling down south and we hear the boats are catching them good north of the inlet, we'll just start fishing towards the north. The mobility and versatility when you are trolling is why trolling is best for action. You can change out baits easily and while you may have a limited number of live baits aboard (so you can't change live baits every 5 minutes) or only a particular kind of live bait, you can change lures to different colors, shapes and sizes pretty much on demand and throughout the trip. We have several boats in our fleet and we all communicate throughout the day, so if Capt. Dave calls me and says that he's catching them on a blue and pink seawitch with a number 8 planer, we can switch up in an instant and try that for more bites.
Trolling is also effective because you are mobile. When I am trolling, I am constantly looking out for weedlines, birds circling an area low to the water, or the mother of all finds... a floating piece of wood or other debris. These finds can instantly get you some good action on mahi-mahi, wahoo, tuna and more. All these fish like to hang around these floating object or in the case of birds, the birds are great fishermen witch a much better view of what is happening below them than we can get. Tunas often school up and start busting on the surface. Sometimes there's just a few and other times the school is the size of a football field. When we see the tunas busting the surface, we can head right over to them and start trolling the outskirts of the school. Tunas are skittish and will quickly start diving deeper and shy away from feeding, which is why we start trolling around the outskirts of the school. Every circle, we do around the school we will progressively get closer and closer to the center of the school until they all dissipate. Trolling is an easy technique to do for beginners but can take a lifetime to master.
Wrecks are holding some awesome fish this time of year too. While the shallow water groupers have gone out of season, the deepwater groupers are still able to be caught. Our deep shipwrecks are holding lots of groupers, snappers and sometime big amberjacks and cobia. You never know what you might pull up off the bottom when fishing around a wreck. With the action on sailfish and other pelagic fish that you catch trolling, a lot of fishermen ignore the wrecks in favor of better action. But the wrecks sometimes hold the biggest fish, so they are an excellent fall back on days when the trolling gets slow.
The fishing in Fort Lauderdale this month can be hit or miss. Some days the fish are jumping in the boat and you can do no wrong. Other days, the fishing is so tough, you'd think there isn't a fish left in sea. Staying mobile while trolling and ready to fall back to shipwreck fishing is a winning combination and the reason our charters are so successful and usually catch more than the other guys. 47 years of experience in charter fishing has taught me one thing above all else. You have to stay versatile and ready to fish for whatever is biting on the day you go out. Don't stay rigid on your plan and always adapt to what is happening that day. Good luck to everyone fishing this week. I'll sea ya on the water.
Capt. Paul Roydhouse
More Fishing Reports: