The catches here in the Fort Lauderdale fishing area have become erratic and despite of some very nice fish taken aboard the Marlin My Darlin the overall slower fishing in general has forced us to modify the approach to putting some fish in the box.
For now we are putting less time trolling up on the reefs. We continue to do it but if the bite that day begins slowly with few fish showing it makes sense to switch to something else. We have been spending a good amount of time live baiting with live Bonito as bait and that has given us some good sized Kings and Wahoo. Thankfully these baits have been in the area in big numbers and easily caught and placed in the baitwells to use when we go this route. We have also been hitting the bottom harder than usual for Tilefish, Jacks, Snappers and an ?incidental? Grouper (Grouper season is closed).
We catch a lot of Sailfish on spinning gear but we lean toward high line capacity conventional reels when we use the Bonitos for bait as the bigger Kings and Wahoo can melt a lot of line off a reel in a hurry. The Sails can certainly take the line off the reel too but they as we all know like to jump around on the surface, which is what we all look forward to, and that slows them down and lets us regain line. Those Wahoo and big Kings do sometimes escape, but taking all our line despite fishing light drags is a longshot when we have a conventional reel holding 700 yards on hand. These larger Wahoo, Kings and the occasional Sail have been the bright spots in the overall iffy fishing situation. And even the small bait sized Bonitos have limited magic and that is when we hit the bottom looking mostly for the Tilefish (as there have been some good ones), and also speed up and troll off the edge for Blackfins.
Anchored ships in water from 100 to 140 feet of water. here have at times held large schools of Ballyhoo. The warmer than usual weather has kept many ballyhoo in the deeper water and around these ships. When the Ballyhoo take up residence around these ships it can make for some good action as Blackfins, fat full grown Bonito, Cero Mackeral and an occasional Mahi and Sailfish will make their lives tough. This is where we use a lot of spinning gear and we look forward to these situations. But the erratic aspect rears it’s head here again and an afternoon of literally hundreds and hundreds of Ballyhoo bouncing of the ship and nearby waters as they take to the air to escape the predators mentioned above gives way to a silent ship the next day with not a single Ballyhoo in sight (Really?- Really) and the result of no predators in sight either. Bring on the Tiles.