Wow! I can't believe we are half way through October and in the midst of a shift in fishing seasons. As usual there is some good news and not so good news. The good news is that offshore the mahi or dolphin fishing has continued to be steady. On most days, we have found enough dorado to keep it interesting. We have had a couple of trips were we did not find signs of life and had to shift to plan b on the reef. On that note, we have had very good yellowtail snapper fishing especially when the current has been flowing to the north.
Besides the mahi and bottom fishing, we have also been doing pretty good inshore with an assortment of mutton and mangrove snapper. During the fall many of these reef fish move inshore into the deeper holes and channels. The key to catching them is to spend some time filling the live well with hundreds of razor belly pilchards. Pilchards act as both live bait and chum but it doesn't hurt to hang a block of frozen chum over the side. Inshore fishing should remain strong over the next few months as the water begins to cool and more fish move into the area.
Speaking of cooler water, fishing should start to transition as soon as we get a couple of cold fronts. Popular fish species like spanish and cero mackerel as well as bluefish will be moving in to the shallow reefs and channel markers. Areas that traditionally hold lots of live bait are usually good place to start the search. Just like the snapper, these fishing usually respond well to live pilchards. If live pilchards aren't available, small jigs and spoons also work well.
Earlier in the report I mentioned some "not so good news". The bad news is that over the last few days we have had little or no current and that has made it tough. We have been running offshore in search of dolphin as that has been the best option. Hopefully, the current will pick up soon and turn the action back on over the reef. I expect more and more sailfish to start moving in closer to the edge of the gulf stream as weather continues to change. Pretty soon, we will start to see sails and mahi chasing showering schools of ballyhoo over the shallows. Watching a pack of sailfish work the baitfish is one of the coolest things you could ever see.
As we speak, we are gearing up and prepping for the live bait, kite fishing that is right around the corner. Pretty soon, we will be filling the bait pens with goggle eyes and herring just in time for the sailfish season. Last year was one of our best sailfish seasons ever and I am confident that this season will be excellent as well. The key to sail fishing is preparation and we are working hard to fine tune the boat and gear in advance.
Well, that is pretty much it for right now. I will try to post another fishing report soon. In the meantime you can keep up with all of the action on social media. We have added a number of videos to our YouTube page (link below) and trip reports usually go on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Check out the YouTube channel and don't forget to LIKE , COMMENT , and SUBSCRIBE for future content. Until next time!
Capt. Orlando Muniz
Nomad Fishing Charters