Ft. Lauderdale Offshore Fishing – July 2021

There should be lots of schoolie dolphin around this month. Put in your time and you’ll find them.
There should be lots of schoolie dolphin around this month. Put in your time and you’ll find them.

Summer and the heat that comes with it is here. Though we will have some of the warmest temperatures of the year, July almost always offers us some of the calmest seas of the year. There will be plenty of opportunities to get offshore this month, but I suggest you get out early to beat the heat and the thunderstorms or head out in the late afternoon and fish after dark.

There should be plenty of dolphin available offshore, but you will likely have to run 15 to 20 miles out to find them. Be sure to get out there early because the bite will almost always shut down as the surface temperature warms with the heat of the day. Look for birds that are working the weed lines or weed patches and troll feathers, small lures or rigged ballyhoo. Once you find the school, use cut ballyhoo or squid on 15 to 20 pound spinning gear. It pays to have your cut bait ready to go so you can concentrate on catching fish.

Closer to shore, there will be some good size kingfish moving in on the reef. Target them by trolling sea witches rigged with bonito strips behind a planer or drift dead ballyhoo or sardines on old school triple hook rigs. Be sure to use enough lead above your swivel to get your bait down to where the fish are.

Don’t forget about the numerous artificial wrecks and reefs in our area. Many of them will be holding some nice grouper. Send a live bait or slab of bonito to the bottom and hold on. Be prepared to fight your way through an amberjack or two as they will be on the same structure, but higher up in the water column.

At night, the snapper bite should be on fire. Drop the hook in 60 to 80 feet of water and start chumming. Be sure to use a chum bag with the larger holes so the chum flows freely. Rig 12 to 15 pound spinning outfits with 3 to 4 feet of 20 pound fluorocarbon and tie a 1/0 circle hook or yellowtail jig to the business end. Best baits are live shrimp, small chunks of bonito or ballyhoo and silversides.

Catch ‘em up!

Gene Dyer
Editor & Publisher