Weather is a big component when fishing, and each year things are different. Extremely hot or cold weather can slow down one kind of fishing while speeding up another.
For example, sailfish tend to be in Florida in winter because water is cooler, while mahi tend to visit in the summer because the water’s warmer. You can catch some mahi in March, when the water starts to get warmer, but not in the numbers you’ll see when summer hits.
The reef starts on the patch reef in 25 feet of water, and then gets deeper as you head out to the outer edge of the reef. The reef stops basically at 100 feet, where the main ledge is. Some days, the water is clear and it’s easy to see the fish. Other days, it’s murky and green, but at times that can be better fishing because the fish can’t see the line.
With reef fishing, we’ll be fishing anywhere between 25 to 100 feet of water and target snapper and grouper. At certain times of the year, mackerel will get thick on the reef, and that’s a lot of fun to fish. How far we go out depends on which fish we’re targeting. If we’re looking for yellowtail snapper, we will fish deeper, because the chances are better in the deep for the bigger yellow tails. However, if we’re targeting mangrove snappers, we’ll fish for those in shallower 25-40 foot range.
While on the reef you never know what you will see, it is very beautiful and holds a lot of different types of life
Once you’re past the reef (generally speaking the reef stops at about 100 feet deep) there’s sand with a few small rock piles and hard bottom areas, where the bottom depth varies. Sunken boats or wrecks occur anywhere in shallows from 120 feet deep to past 250 feet deep, so this is where our wreck fishing starts.
Like at the reef, you’ll catch snapper and grouper, but the fish out on the wrecks tend to be much larger in size. While that’s exciting if you’re looking to land the big one, they can be much harder to fish and it takes much more skill than fishing out in the reefs. But don’t worry! Anyone can learn how to do it with good guidance.
Other fish you’ll find on the wrecks include snapper, grouper, amberjack, permit, African pompano, wahoo, mackerels, and Goliath grouper.
There’s a very wide range of snappers we see, including yellowtail, vermillion, mutton, and gray snappers, and a variety of groupers as well.
You find a lot of cool fish at this point, such as sailfish, dolphin, wahoo, cobia, blue marlin, and swordfish. Live bait and trolling methods are used for offshore fishing.
Deep dropping is a technique used with electric reels and a lot of lead, anywhere from 400 feet of water, to over 1500 feet. The bait will be fished on or very near the bottom. A few types of fish that we catch while doing this include; snowy grouper, yellow edge grouper, queen snapper, tile fish, barrel fish and swordfish.
Most of the deep dropping is done in the summertime while we are out looking for dolphin, it gives us an opportunity to put another species of fish on the dinner table for you.
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