It’s getting chilly in Fort Lauderdale and that means the sailfish are biting. January is one of the peak months for sailfishing in South Florida. The strong winds make excellent conditions for kite fishing, the most effective method for catching sailfish, dolphin and other surface feeding gamefish. In Fort Lauderdale, the continental shelf is very close to shore and it gets deep very quickly. One mile offshore is already 100 feet of water. Two miles offshore it gets as deep as 600 feet of water. The Gulfstream runs right along and hugs this drop off. We call this area “Sailfish Alley”. It’s the area where all the sailfish migrate through and there’s a bevy of other gamefish species that inhabit this area too. Just go offshore about a mile, to about 100 – 200 feet of water and fly the kites with some frisky goggle eyes dangled on the surface and you’re very likely to hook into one of the most exciting fish in the world to catch…Sailfish.
Wrecks deserve an honorable mention this month too. January wreck fishing is excellent. Unfortunately, groupers are out of season as of January 1st, so many fishermen stop bottom fishing around the wrecks until they come back into season. This is great for us! While it can be painful to be required to release a big grouper that you just caught, other species like amberjack, cobia, sharks and barracuda congregate around these wrecks too. With the lack of fishing pressure around these spots, wreck fishing can make for great action. Amberjacks, one of the strongest fighting fish in the ocean, are just beginning to show up around the deep wrecks in January. In a few months, they will dominate the wrecks. Vermilion snapper fishing on multi-hook chicken rigs is also fun and a great way to catch some good dinner fish. The best thing about vermilion snapper fishing is that you can catch more than one fish at a time on the same rig. If they are really biting good, you can catch your limit in just a few drops. This a great month to add some color to your fish box by doing some wreck fishing.
Good luck to everyone fishing this month. We’d love to have you out with us on one of our fishing charters!
Capt. Brett Magers
New Lattitude Sportfishing