Summertime Sailfish, Plus Kingfish and Bonito

Report Date: July 30, 2014

Fishing the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood area has been very productive this past week. Some of our recent half-day fishing trips have produced some nice fish. One trip I remember with repeat customer from Wisconsin, we headed out of the inlet with a load of pilchards and goggle eyes, and started fishing right outside Port Everglades Inlet, by the whistle buoy. We put out our spread of 2 pilchards and 2 goggle eyes, and right away, our gog on top and our deep pilchard got slammed. We boated 2 nice size kingfish and also caught a few bonito. For the next hour+ we had a non-stop kingfish bite – we also boated a nice blackfin tuna. When the bite finally slowed, we switched to wreck fishing and caught a grouper and a nice amberjack.

Other recent trips were similar with a good mix of kingfish and bonito. We’ve been using live bait on all our trips lately. The bite has been mainly on the top water baits - either pilchards or big goggle eyes. Big kings, in the 20 lb. range, have been hitting those surface baits very aggressively. I still love to see those kingfish hits that look like a grenade going off in the water – a giant splash that takes everyone by surprise.

Regardless of their size, these summer kingfish are abundant and fun to catch on light tackle. We use relatively light spinning tackle spooled with 20 lb. braid, a mono leader and a short trace of light wire.

We've also seen a few sailfish in the area as well. In southeast Florida, sailfish are a year-round possibility. John and his friend Jack, who never fished blue water before, told me they caught countless bass in fresh water. I simply told them they were going to have a good time and that I was hoping to get them a few kingfish and bonito. Well, they got all that, and much more. They were all excited and happy, big smiles all around, but John was not done. He also caught his first sailfish! Not bad for a first time blue water fisherman.

The fish are still here. Let’s go catch some more!

Good Luck & Tight Lines,

Capt. Mario Cote
No Vacansea Sportfishing


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