Coming off such an incredible July, we can only hope that August will offer up some leftover action as the water continues to warm. Sails, mahi, blackfin and kingfish have been staging in large numbers off the Treasure Coast from 85-to-135 feet for the last couple months and baring an influx of fresh water from the locks, I don’t see any reason for it to stop until the water warms to over 84 degrees. Live baiting is the ticket for your best chances at variety and overall success.
This is a great time of year to kite fish, so breakout the SFE kites, the 6’6” 12-20 pound Blackfin Rods with Marquesa 30’s and get out there ASAP. On days when live bait isn’t available or if there is no obvious condition and you’d like to cover some ground and find the fish before you set out the live bait, trolling has been good and definitely worth doing. (As long as there isn’t too much grass.) Spend your time fishing around float, weed lines and current edges. If you don’t see an obvious condition, try trolling along the Six Mile or Eight Mile Reefs or slide out a little deeper to Push Button Hill. These pelagic predators migrate up and down our reef systems and tend to congregate around any large underwater structures. Trolling ballyhoo, small lures and a combination of the two for the mahi little jigs or feathers trolled so they are pretty far back, but still skipping, is the key to catching those blackfin on the “Hill”, and a simple spoon rigged on wire attached to the downrigger will add kings, mahi and even blackfin and cobia to tour Yeti.
This time of year, I really like sending a bait down. I use the Cannon 10 TS downrigger paired with my Solix units through my HumminBird One-Boat Network™. I can operate everything right from the console through the Solix or even my phone, so since I usually fish without a mate, that’s a huge help. There has been a ton of Sargassum weed, which makes pulling any teaser, especially a dredge, very difficult but if and when conditions allow, I always recommend that.
Hopefully, fishing will be good enough where you can cull your catch. With the mahi, after you box a few, it’s a wonderful practice to start releasing smaller ones and try to only keep the males if you can. Remember, if you are not going to smoke the kingfish, it doesn’t freeze well, so don’t keep a bunch. Keep a bottom rod ready, especially while you’re live baiting. As you are drifting along keep an eye on your sonar and when you mark something be ready to drop on it. If you have it, the side imaging feature definitely aids in knowing what’s coming, so that’s a huge advantage.
Expect cobia, amberjacks, grouper and snapper. Whatever style of fishing you decide to do this August. be safe and I hope your next trip is Off The Chain! Please give me a call to book your fishing adventure.