This week's Islander News fishing report is a cool one. Another cold front hit South Florida last weekend, shutting down our fishing for a few days. The strong cold winds kept most fishermen off the water. Once the front pushed through, however, the waters settled down and the fishing fleet got out to see what they could find.
From the outer reef out to about 300 feet of water, kingfish in the 5-15 pound range were scattered along the coast. The kings could be caught by anchoring and chumming and then fishing live baits in the chum line.
Some fishermen preferred to drift fish with the wind and current while fishing fresh ballyhoo or Spanish sardines attached to a jig head with a couple extra 5/0 hooks attached to the jig. Blackfin tuna, bonitos and a few dolphin fish were also caught this way.
For those looking to catch sailfish, kite fishing with live baits is your best bet. Concentrate around the artificial wrecks in depths between 100 to 200 feet of water. Dolphin fish have been scattered. Quite a few wahoos were caught in the last few weeks, with most caught under large floating debris. If you spot a good piece of flotsam, troll a Sea Witch with a strip of bonito deep with a planer or trolling weight by that piece of debris.
Big currents complicated the bottom fishing. When the currents allowed, lots of vermillion snappers, a few yellow eyes, and red snappers were eager to take a piece of squid fished near the bottom. Hit the wrecks and rock piles in 200 to 450 feet of water for best results. Nighttime reef fishing has produced some decent yellowtail snappers, toros, bluerunners, and grunts. The reefs in 70 to 100 feet have produced the best action. Cut bait is the preferred bait for the bottom fish.
Capt. Alan Sherman, who operates “Get Em” Sportfishing Charters, has been leading fishing charters in South Florida for 30+ years. He can be reached here or by calling (786) 436-2064.
To read last week's fishing report, click here.