Winter is here and a completely new batch of fish are showing up. You have to be adaptive this time of year and change your tactics to meet the new challenges that the winter months bring. The prevailing wind off Fort Lauderdale from December through February is a medium to strong northeast wind. This wind direction, coupled with it’s velocity, creates some of the roughest seas we experience all year long. It’s fairly common to have 4 to 6 foot seas this time of year. This is great for us larger charter boats because it keeps a lot of the small boats on the dock and makes for less fishing pressure. We use the heavy wind to our advantage and employ a technique called kite fishing. Kite fishing is where we fly kites off the back of the boat that suspend live baits on the surface of the water. The baits are held in the kite line by pressure release clips and are set to dangle right on the surface of the water. The bait struggles to keep its head underwater and creates vibrations that attract big game fish such as sailfish from a long distance away. It’s the most effective way to target big game fish this time of year.
The other hot bite this month is dolphin. The strong winds of December blow the dolphin in closer to the reef. When flying fish jump out of the water and spread their fins, they get blown in the direction the wind is going. When the Northeast winds are puffing for a few days in a row, the surviving flying fish get progressively closer and closer to shore. That means, after a few days of strong northeasterly winds, you can expect the mahi mahi to be on the reefs in 40 to120 feet of water. With mahi, it’s all about the food. If the food comes inshore, so do they.
There’s great fishing in the winter months and the general rule is the worse the weather, the better the fishing. Good luck to everyone fishing this month. Tight Lines!
Capt. Nick Colosi
New Lattitude Sportfishing