The offshore fishermen looking to tangle with a high jumping speedster like the Atlantic sailfish will be happy to know that a good amount of quality-sized sailfish are moving into our area.
Gather up your 20-to-50-pound offshore fishing rods and reels, attach a 50-pound test long leader to the mainline, and add a 6/0 Mustad Classic circle hook to that leader (39946-BN). Now all you need is a dozen or more horse pilchards, large threadfin herring, cigar minnows, live ballyhoo, bluerunners or a goggle eye jack … and you’re set.
Attach any of these baits to your hook and fish the bait near the surface with the help of a kite, balloon or just free lined. Concentrate your efforts in depths between 80 to 300 feet of water. NOAA Weather is predicting winds to be out of the northwest, so set up in the shallower depth and let the boat drift offshore with the wind.
Hit some of the wrecks in 100 feet of water or so to start off. The Orion is in 88 feet of water so that could be a good starter. There are other wrecks in the same area.
Often sailfish will cruise right to the wreck areas as they hunt for baitfish schools that often accumulate around artificial reefs and wrecks. Look for frigate birds hovering as they follow a group of sailfish and for showering ballyhoo schools to help you locate where the sailfish are. More often than not, when one sailfish is hooked there will be more with him.
Spanish mackerel have been feeding in areas that are holding baitfish schools. Look for diving birds in depths between 15 and 30 feet of water. You can cast silver spoons, flashy hard plastics, and live baits at the feeding mackerel.
Bottom fishing became more challenging when the hard north current started. Bonefishing over the shallow flats of South Biscayne Bay has been excellent. Hungry schools of bonefish have invaded the offshore flats south of Soldiers Key. You will need a shallow water skiff to get close enough to cast a frisky live shrimp at that tailing or cruising bonefish.
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.