If you are like me and you’re bummed out about all that is going on, it’s time to go fishing. Fortunately, for those of us that fish off Miami, the Atlantic Ocean is still open for fishing. Earlier in the week a large group of fishing guides gathered with the goal of bringing attention to what is happening in Everglades National Park and other popular angling destinations that have been closed to fishing due to the government shutdown. Many of these guides make their living guiding there clients in these affected areas. It was also nice to see all of the people that came together in order to protect their rights. Hopefully our elected officials will find another way to solve their differences without affecting the lives of so many.
Here, a little closer to home, the fishing is open and noticeable changes in the weather and bait supply are starting to get things going. Before there can be good fishing we need a healthy supply of baitfish moving in to our beaches and bays. Two types of baitfish that are crucial are pilchards and mullet. Both of these baitfish have started to show up and should continue to move through for a good while. The other key factor is that the extreme heat is gone and the waters are starting to cool. Changes in the weather are easily detected around dawn and dusk. Soon, the first cold fronts of the season will be pushing more sailfish, tarpon, and game fish in general our way. Some of fish are already starting to move in after the bait and more will certainly follow.
October is generally a slow month for the charter business and this year has been no exception. Most captains actually use this month to haul boats out of the water for maintenance, bottom paint, and routine repairs. It is also a great month to check and stock bait pens with goggle eyes and herring. A health and ample supply of seasoned bait will generate great catches when the bite goes off. It will also serve as insurance during times when baitfish become scarce and everyone is scrambling to make bait. Thankfully we’ve been able to get out enough to keep up with what is going on in the area and put fish in the box as well as the bait pens.
Offshore, there are still quite a few keeper dolphin (mahi) around. Most of the fish being caught are on the smaller side and some will not meet the 20” minimum size. Sailfish have been scarce but like always, if you put in the time there is always the chance of catching one or two on any given day. Wrecks have been producing fish on a more consistent basis with some nice mutton snapper and grouper being caught around structures. The best way to fish these wrecks is by anchoring up and presenting a live bait on the bottom. On days when there is little to no current you might be better off targeting fish over deeper structures.
How deep you fish depends on your target species. One example is the broadbill swordfish. During daylight hours you can drop a squid or strip bait to the bottom and hook into fish ranging from 50 to 500 pounds plus. Fishing for swords is usually reserved for those that don’t mind striking out in hopes of the grand slam. It takes lot of work and preparation but the payoff can be spectacular. Right now is a great time to target these majestic creatures.
If you’re like most people and are more interested in bending rods and putting fish on the table then you can catch all of the fish you need in just a few hours. Vermillion snapper, snowy grouper, and almaco jacks have been biting very well and we have targeted them in depths from 220’ to over 400; on days when the conditions have allowed it. I generally target these species on days with little to no current when other types of fishing aren’t favorable. The action can be extremely good since we are fishing very specific structures that don’t often get hit. Many of these spots are also great places to try your hand at vertical jigging with high speed reels. On some days we may hit anywhere from 5-20 spots in search of the ones holding the most fish.
Closer to shore things are heating up fast. Spanish mackerel and jack crevalles have moved into the bay as they chase the bait migrations. Right now most of the mackerel are on the small side but look for some big ones to follow after the first cold snap. Spotted sea trout have also been solid around the shallow grass flats in different areas of the bay. Finally, there are still some tarpon in the bay and more will be moving down as they follow the cooler water and mullet schools on the beach. Large schools of mullet are already moving along the beaches and pushing our way.
Well, that pretty much sums things up for now. Remember to follow the action on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for shorter up to the minute reports and happenings. You can also check out some videos on our YOUTUBE channel (fishingchartermiami). If you’re looking to go fishing, now is a good time to book your trip. You can call, email, or text for any additional information that you may need. I still have a few days left in October as well as November, and December.
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Till Next Time,
Nomad Fishing Charters