Well, winter is finally here! Several cold fronts have passed and brought the long awaited cool weather with them. I for one think that 8 months of summer is enough. It’s seemed like 8 months anyway.
Associated with winter fronts is the appearance of several desired fish into South Florida waters. Spanish mackerel have been here since November. Trolling with small feathers or spoons in shallow water, 15 to 40 deep or so will get you all the Spanish mackerel you want. Stop trolling when you have a fish on and cast with light tackle or fly rods for a real treat! There aren’t many fish that are more fun than mackerel on light tackle.
The high winds and sea conditions associated with the passing of these fronts have also brought dolphin and sailfish into our coastal waters, chasing herds of ballyhoo into sometimes very shallow water, as shallow as 30 feet deep! Without a doubt this year has been the best sailfish year in several years. I attribute it to the frequent heavy northeastern winds as well as more ballyhoo around than I’ve seen in a decade. Watch for the bait showers under frigates and get there as soon as you can! Casting live pilchards or ballyhoo at the sails or dolphin you see will bring instant action. On our sportfishing “machine” the 37 Topaz, “LEGACY” we have caught dozens of sails, dolphin, bonito, Spanish mackerel, and Black fin tuna in these frenzies.
Amberjacks are next on the list, with February and March being the best months for them. The way to catch them is to drop live pinfish on wrecks and ledges with at least 50 lb tackle. Use enough lead, even up to 2 lbs to get it down there but it’s important to fish up off the bottom in the water column. Most of the Amberjacks will be 50 to 100 feet off the bottom! Vertical jigs and heavy jigging rods and reels will also provide amazing action for these beautiful fish. The local wrecks are to be found online under Dade or Broward County artificial reef sites.
On the Reward Fleet boats we are catching scattered kings, muttons and usually a sail daily. The evening trips when the weather gives us a break have had great catches of yellowtail and mutton snapper as well as Spanish mackerel and bluefish. On our 10 hour all day weekend trips we have had great action with amberjacks, dolphin, and snappers. Call for details on this special trip!
Remember we are now located at Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami.
Check out the Reward Fishing Fleet on Facebook for photos, videos, and more information!
Captain Wayne Conn