September is finally here and this begins the big change over from summer fish to autumn fish. The action of the summer is beginning to fade and the big fish are moving in to take their place. Bigger kingfish are starting to move in on the reefs, we’re already seeing some big ones hit the dock. Bonitos are still biting but will fade away by the end of the month. You may even hit a blackfin tuna or wahoo, if you’re lucky. There are some big fish moving through our waters right now. One of my favorite drifting techniques this time of year is flat-lining. Flat lining is just like it sounds. It’s a surface line, rigged with no sinker, that you cast out and leave drifting on the surface. Because it has no weight, it sinks slowly and looks more natural to a scrutinizing fish. Flat lining is great for kingfish, blackfin tuna, mahi mahi and sailfish. Even though fishing on the surface may get fewer bites than fishing on the bottom, a flat line will often catch the biggest fish of the trip.
Night fishing is pretty consistent here in Fort Lauderdale these days. Yellowtail snappers are biting good, as long as there is at least a little current. Current is essential for yellowtailing because it gets the chum flowing out onto the reef to draw in fish from all around and get them looking for food. It’s like ringing the dinner bell. Give the chum a little time to do it’s magic and then the action begins. This technique of fishing is great for catching yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snappers, groupers, jacks and just about every other type of bottom and reef fish there is. A few big cobia are also biting out there. Cobia bite during both the day and night and they get big, some reaching 60 pounds or bigger. We typically catch a lot of cobia between August and October.
The fishing is good off Fort Lauderdale so get out there and do some fishin’. Good luck to everyone this month. Sea you on the water!
Capt. Paul Roydhouse