Rough Waters has us Fishing the Intracoastal & Catching Big Fish
Capt. Rod Roydhouse
March 5, 2017
Fort Lauderdale - Saltwater Fishing Report
The seas have been extremely rough this week off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Winds have been 20-30 mph, kicking the seas up and making the ocean rough. We've still been fishing though. A few trips are going deep sea, but most trips have opted to fish the inshore waters of Fort Lauderdale on an Intracoastal fishing charter. In the Intracoastal, the waters are protected so no waves at all. For inshore fishing trips, we fish by either slow trolling live baits up and down the network of canals, or by anchoring and chumming and fishing for bottom fish.
Although there is more variety and numbers of fish caught deep sea fishing, there are still plenty of cool fish to be caught in the Intracoastal. Tarpon are the top gamefish of the Intracoastal. They get big, put on an awesome show of jumping and they are challenging to catch. This makes tarpon, also called the silver king, one of the most sought after gamefish for inshore fishing. Snook are another big inshore fish that are highly sought after by inshore fishermen. Snook are abnormally intelligent fish and they take some skill, luck and craftiness to entice a bite. Both tarpon and snook are caught in the same fishing zones of the ICW.
With the rough seas, other oddball fish are showing up in the Intracoastal. Just yesterday, we caught a huge Goliath Grouper while bottom fishing right in the Fort Lauderdale inlet. Goliath grouper are the largest of the grouper family and they can reach 400 pound and bigger. We catch them on our heaviest tackle, usually reserved for our shark fishing charters. Goliath groupers are protected and therefor always catch and release, but they sure are fun and cool to catch.
Yesterday we also caught a big cobia in the Intracoastal. Cobia are normally a shallow water open ocean fish, but sometimes they swim into our inlet and we catch them on our inshore charters while bottom fishing. This lucky fisher gal hooked into and caught this cobia. Cobia look and fight like sharks, and even an experienced fishermen often misidentify them when on the line. It's not until they get near the boat that you can tell they are cobia and not sharks. Cobia have extremely strong tails and go crazy when you throw them in the boat. They have been known to break chairs off their stanchions and even break the anglers legs. Be careful whenever you throw a cobia in the boat.
Barracuda and jack crevales are also inshore fish species that we catch fishing the inside. These species are a lot of fun because you can use light tackle to catch them. Not many of the fish we catch in the inshore waters are edible species. They are mostly light tackle gamefish, which are fun because we can catch them on our light tackle spinning rods. Inshore fishing is a light tackle sportsman's trip. We'll be fishing deep sea trips soon, but with the wind as it is, light tackle inshore fishing is a safer and much more comfortable fishing trip. Good luck out there.
Capt. Paul Roydhouse
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