There is a plethora of different fish species to be caught drift fishing along the Fort Lauderdale reefs this season. King mackerel, mahi-mahi, snapper and grouper are all biting excellent. Mahi-mahi, which are usually an offshore fish, have been coming in right on the reef in schools and ambushing us. Mahi-mahi will usually eat just about anything you throw at them, but a whole squid hooked once through the mantle is my favorite bait for them. When drifting with a school of dolphin next to the boat, it is paramount to remember to always leave at least one mahi-mahi hooked up and swimming out there. The remaining fish in the school will all stay in the vicinity. During the day trips, kingfish are biting strong, some of them smoker sized over 50 pounds. May is the season for BIG FISH.
May 1st marks the beginning of grouper season in Florida. Black and red groupers are now finally legal to keep again. After a 4 month closure with nobody trying to catch them, the deep spots are all loaded up with groupers, ready to be caught. Anchor fishing for yellowtail and mangrove snapper is also very productive this time of year. The night snapper bite gets really good around the full moons of the summer months. Watch for a few nights of awesome mutton snapper fishing on and around the full moons these next couple months.
Cobia are also worth a mention. We aren’t catching them on every trip, but cobia are present on the reefs and biting on occasion. When one gets caught, always be ready for more because they travel in schools.
There is excellent fishing this month on the Fort Lauderdale drift boats. Sea ya on the water.
Capt. Paul Roydhouse