We’re having an awesome sailfish season in Fort Lauderdale this year. They are snapping! Cooler temperatures this month are getting the sailfish active and hunting, all over the reef and edge of the Gulfstream. The blue water gets pushed in closer to shore this time of year and generally forms a nice current edge where the green water meets the blue. The blue water side of this current edge is a great area to set up for kite fishing. Live goggle eyes, threadfin, mullet and tinker mackerel are all great live baits to use for kite fishing. They are hardy, staying alive for a long time in the kite and they put off great vibrations/fish-in-distress signals. When that sailfish comes up on your kite bait and sticks that hairdo up, it’s the most exciting few seconds in sportfishing. Kite fishing is extremely effective this month because of the stiff winds common to February. You need a strong, steady wind to employ the kite fishing technique, which is far and away the most effective method to target sailfish. While other methods of sportfishing can catch sailfish and cover more sea-miles of area (trolling and dragging live baits from outriggers/downriggers), the kites present the baits in a way that draws large gamefish in from a long distance away. With a nice edge to fish along, this can be quite effective.
Tuna, dolphin and wahoo are all frequent catches this month as well, just outside the reef. Trolling is a great way to cover a lot of ground, looking for some fish. I like to troll between 120-250′ of water, up and down the coast until I figure out what depth the fish are biting best in that day. Trolling gives you the flexibility and mobility to try different areas and experiment with different depths. Fish a double hooked swimming ballyhoo on a deep line and you’ll have a good shot at a wahoo. A great deal of big wahoos are caught in February, especially around the full and new moons. Bluefish are a fish we don’t normally see in our southern waters, but this month they sometimes migrate northward up our coastline. Following right alongside these bluefish schools are big game sharks like hammerhead and mako, feeding on them at will. This is the beginning of our world famous shark fishing season which will last through till May. Many big game anglers travel here to take part in our epic shark fishing season.
No matter what you’re after, February has reliably good action on some of the largest and most sought after fish. Tight lines to everyone and good fishing!
Capt. Adam Reckert
New Lattitude Sportfishing