November is a pretty good month for drift fishing in Fort Lauderdale. The kingfish have finally shown up for us and are biting good on the reefs. On a good day, we can catch 25 kingfish on a trip, with 20 of them keepers. The best bite is generally on the morning trips. During the summer months on a slow drift, I prefer an oily sardine as bait. But in November, with the stiff winds making the boat drift faster and the waves giving the bait more action, ballyhoo makes for a better presentation. This is also the season that cobia start biting good on the reef. Here’s a tip, when a sea turtle surfaces near the boat, cast a pitch bait just behind the turtle. Often, a cobia or even a school of cobia will be following the turtle.
The night anchor fishing picks up this month for yellowtail and mangrove snapper. During the next few months, these snapper move from the 3rd reef in 100 feet into the 2nd reef, which is only 40 feet deep. Red grouper deserve an honorable mention this month. A lot of 19 to 19.9 inch red grouper are biting. We call these happy grouper as they must be released, but we will land a keeper every now and then. If yellowtailing is slow one night, go out to 200 feet and do some vermillion snapper fishing with a chicken rig. A chicken rig is a bottom rig with 2 or more hooks baited with chunks of squid. There are some big vermillion snappers biting from now until late December, so get out there and catch them while you can. This is a great month for action on the reefs of Fort Lauderdale.
Good luck fishing everyone. Sea ya on the water.