June brings us some of the best weather conditions of the year and along with it comes some really good fishing. On the reefs and shallow wrecks, the kingfish and snappers will be chewing. A great technique for kingfish is to drift a dead sardine or ballyhoo on an old school triple hook rig. For the yellowtails and and mangroves, chum and they will come. This month also begins the annual mutton snapper spawn here in South Florida. The best mutton fishing will happen on the few days before and after the full and new moons. Be sure to use a long leader to get your bait a good distance from your sinker so you don’t spook the fish. The best bait to use is a ballyhoo plug. You can take it a step further and butterfly the plug, then hook it through the tail end.
On the deeper wrecks and artificial reefs, there will be plenty of grouper around. Drop a live bait or slab of bonito to the bottom and hold on. Be prepared to fight through an amberjack or two as they will be around the same wrecks. Some big blackfin tuna will also be cruising around those wrecks. Target them by high speed or slow pitch jigging.
Farther offshore, the dolphin bite should be good with some big fish caught. Some guys like to run and gun while looking for birds and weed patches and it can be a productive way to fish. However, I prefer to find the blue water and start trolling. The main reason is because you might miss a magical piece of floating debris while running in low light conditions. I like to troll a five line spread. On the outriggers, I prefer fresh ballyhoo rigged behind Islander style or chugger type lures. On my flat lines, I like a naked ballyhoo on one side and a small bullet type lure with a bonito strip or dolphin belly strip. For the best swimming action, be sure to use flat line clips. If you don’t have flat line clips, a strand of copper rigging wire tied to a cleat will do the job. Finally, in the shotgun position, I like to pull a small feather type lure in blue and white or black and orange. Don’t be afraid to send it way back. Put in your time and you’ll find the fish.
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