Mahi Mahi (Dolphin)
Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian name for dolphin fish. These are a common species found off the coast of South Florida. They are usually caught when fishing offshore, anywhere from 3-20 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Schools of mahi-mahi commonly congregate near and around floating objects that offer protection and shelter to baitfish schools. Things like big patches of seaweed, seaweed lines and floating boards or debris, are all great places to find a school of mahi-mahi. Mahi-mahi range in size from 3 pounds to 60 pounds. The biggest mahi-mahi are known as bull dolphin and are a highly prized game fish.
Wahoo, a sleek, iridescent dark purple fish, have vertical stripes of silver and gold running down the length of their body. Wahoo are the fastest fish in the ocean and are the most hydro-dynamically evolved fish in the sea. Wahoo are excellent eating fish. Wahoo have a jaw fitted with a row of tiny razor sharp teeth. They use their speed and razor-sharp teeth to swim right through their prey, slicing their quarry. Wahoo have a very soft jawbone, which makes it very easy for the hook to slip out when near the boat.
Kingfish average in size from 5-10 pounds, but sometimes grow to as large as 50 or 60 pounds. Kingfish are caught in water about 80 feet to 200 feet deep. These fish are in the mackerel family and are a close relative of the wahoo. Kingfish are caught in S Florida by trolling, drifting, live baiting and kite fishing. Kingfish are a great fish to catch on light tackle and provide a challange to reel in.
Sailfish range from 5-7 feet long and weigh about 65 – 85 pounds. Sailfish are common in South Florida and can be caught by trolling rigged baits along a reef, slow trolling live baits from the outriggers or by a style of fishing called kite fishing. Sailfish are mostly surface feeding fish, and when hooked, jump out of the water flying thru the air. Sailfish can be caught on light tackle equipment and since they are a surface fish, they tend to stay near the top of the water when fighting.
Blackfin tuna are abundant in south Florida as prefer the warmth of the Gulfstream. Blackfin tuna can weigh 25-35 pounds and are very strong and built like a torpedo. They can take long hard runs and put up a good fight on any tackle. Some fortunate fisherman have even caught yellowfin tuna off the coast of South Florida.
These gamefish swim in seas from 300 feet to 2,000 feet deep. West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a great location to catch these special fish. Swordfish eat mackerel and squid, and can weight over 400 pounds. Swordfish are considered nocturnal feeders, but they can be caught on both night fishing trips and daytime trips. It’s hard to match the excitement of reeling in one of these feisty, powerful fish, a memory to be remembered for a lifetime.
South Florida the a perfect location for catching many species of big game sharks. Springtime is a popular period for big Hammerhead Sharks, and summer is known for spotting Sand Bar and Spinner Sharks. Winter brings in the Bull Sharks and fall is best for mako and thresher sharks. Sharks are the top of the food chain and are some of the biggest fish we have swimming off the Fort Lauderdale coast. Shark jaws have hundreds of teeth which sometimes break off when they fiercely attack their prey. A shark can lose thousand of teeth in its lifetime, which are replaced by new teeth growing in. All sharks now are catch and release.
Marlin – Bahamas
Blue marlin are very popular game fish in South Florida. Blue Marlin are offshore fish, which feed on wahoo and other smaller offshore baitfish. The best way to attract blue marlin is trolling lures and rigged baits at a quick clip anywhere from 3-20 miles offshore. Heavy tackle is required for catching Blue Marlin. If you get the bite from a blue marlin, expect a rollicking battle as you must fight dearly for this fish. Blue marlin are a billfish species, like the sailfish and swordfish, with notable differences in the dorsal fin, pectoral fins and overall size. Blue marlin average 80-200 pounds, but can be as heavy as 500 pounds.
Grouper – Bahamas
Grouper is a popular bottom dweller and there are many species in the Bahamas. Black, gag, red, warsaw and scamp groupers are some of the big grouper species. All of these are good eating and are strong fighters. Groupers tend to live around shipwrecks and rock piles in anywhere from 20 – 600 feet of water. Always use a very strong drag to pull a grouper up off the bottom quickly. Once a grouper gets into his hole, it is almost impossible to get him out!
Snapper – Bahamas
There are various species of snapper available all year in the Bahamas. They enjoy tropical and warm temperate seas. From yellow tail snapper to yellow eye snapper, they are found in off shore waters and feed on shrimp, crabs, worms and smaller fish.