Fish early, or into the evening, for your best shot at a catch
Mid afternoon temperatures are hovering around 94 degrees. That is hot in my book. I do not know many fish that are happy with those temperatures. If you’re thinking about fishing this weekend, then your best bet is to get out early in the morning or wait till dark when things cool off.
Hit the outer reef line from 80 to 200 feet of water for rod bending action from false albacore (bonitos), kingfish, barracudas, blackfin tuna and sailfish. Best baits will be live pilchards, threadfin herring and ballyhoo. You can also drift fresh rigged ballyhoo and Spanish sardines for these fish. Vary the depths of your baits from the surface to near the bottom and pay attention to which rod gets struck. Then fish your baits at that depth. These fish will bite from sun up to about 11 a.m. before shutting down till late afternoon or the following morning.
Mahi Mahi hunters will find lots of Sargasso weeds and weed lines, but only scattered fish. The dolphin fishermen are working the depths from 700 to 1,300 feet of water. To locate the fish, run and gun until you see birds diving in an area. You can also try trolling with natural or artificial baits. Keep in mind that these baits have to be weedless or you are going to spend a lot of time cleaning the baits while you are trolling.
Daytime snapper fishing in depths from 150 to 240 feet has been good. Yelloweye and vermillion snappers have been eating chunks of squid right on the sandy bottoms. Look for some solid markings on the bottom around ledges and artificial reefs before dropping to the bottom.
Night fishermen, anchoring on the natural reefs and shallow artificial reefs, are catching their limits of snappers. The types of snappers being caught are mangrove, yellowtail, lane and mutton snappers. Plenty of grunts, jacks and toros are mixed in with the snappers. Hit the reefs in 20 to 100 feet of water. Chum just enough to get the fish behind the boat and then fish 1/0 to 3/0 Mustad short shank hooks with chunks of squid, ballyhoo, Spanish sardines, and whole silver sides. Use just enough weight on your lines to reach the bottom.
If you do not own a boat or just do not know where to fish, then buy a spot on any of the local party boats. You can also hire a fishing guide as well.
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.