June fishing in Fort Lauderdale has been a combination of trolling the reefs, bottom fishing, wreck fishing and live bait fishing. I like to incorporate a few of the fishing methods or all depending on how many hours are booked for a fishing charter. For example, I will start out the charter trolling the reef, which is a good way to get a handle on the current, water color and bait situation. Then, depending on the conditions for the day, we will switch gears and live bait, bottom, or wreck fish; possibly go live bait kite fishing and/or Shark fishing.
Trolling the reefs has been successful in targeting King Mackerel anywhere from 100 feet of water out to 200 feet of water. Trolling a sea witch with a strip is very effective, and some days a skirted Ballyhoo will outperform a baited sea witch. The Kings have been weighing anywhere from 10 pounds to the larger ones weighing around 20 pounds. When the King Mackerel bite is going off while fishing in Fort Lauderdale, there is nothing else like it - hooking one fish after another with the drag ripping off the reels. It’s an awesome mess of fish blood on the decks, and a box full of fish.
Also mixed in with the King Mackerel have been Bonita and Black Fin Tuna. They are traveling up and down the reef, and we will look for diving birds and explosions on the surface, keeping a close eye on the depth sounder and marking any fish then fishing that same area. When the Tunas air out, they will look like a 5-gallon bucket full of water was just dropped into the ocean. That is the time to work the area with the baits and create a pattern around the fish. The Black Fin Tunas will travel in schools, and we will get multiple bites at once, which is very exciting for all anglers. As soon as we catch the Tunas, the mate will bleed the Tuna. The filets will be much better when eating either cooked or raw, for me preferably raw.
There have been some Mahi Mahi moving along the Fort Lauderdale coast. The larger schools have not moved through yet, but when the opportunity presents itself, we are always looking to catch these fish. We have also been wreck fishing with live bait and catching Amberjacks and Groupers. Live bait works the best, however, there are times when dead bait and jigging artificial baits can also be very productive. The mate will rig a circle hook to a live bait, then send the live bait down on the wreck. I like to use 100-pound test as the heavier line will not shy fish away, and when the big AJ or Grouper eats the bait, you'll have a much better chance to catch the fish. Remember, we are hooking and dragging these large fish out of the sunken shipwreck, which can and will cut the line if the fish manages to get back in the structure. We have been catching Black Groupers in these wreck structures, and they have been weighing anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds.
June is also a good month to target Sharks, and we have been catching some nice ones anywhere from 5 to 7 feet long and some bigger. We have been catching Bull Sharks, Sand Bar Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks. All Shark fishing is for the sport, and the fish are released.
To book your Fort Lauderdale fishing charter and/or to discuss more charter details and customize the trip to fit your group’s needs, contact Capt. Dave Zsak at (954) 439-8106 - Tight lines