It's Been Awhile
Report Date: August 1, 2023
It’s been some time since the last report, but to be honest there really hasn’t been much to report. Summer in South Florida means one thing and that is mahi fishing. Sad to say but this has been the worse year of mahi fishing that I have ever seen. The trend the past few years has been later and later into the summer. In the old days May would kick off the mahi run and it would last into August. The past few years it’s been more June and lasting until September. This year it has still yet to materialize. In June we couldn’t find hardly any mahis at all. That is for the entire coast of Florida. July, we saw more mahis but 99% were too small to keep. Just this past weekend we caught over 80 mahis and we were only able to keep 3 of those fish. The rest were too small. Last season the mahi run got better in mid-July so hopefully this year it will get better in the next few weeks. It’s so sad to see this fishery fade the way it has. It was the staple of summertime fishing for the entire SE Coast of Florida. I hope that it materializes in the next few weeks.
Besides mahi fishing, there have been some bonitos and kingfish on the edge as well as some sailfish. The sailfishing has been the better option this whole summer. With mahi fishing so slow a lot of people are targeting other fish and one of those is wahoo. Trolling planers or high-speed trolling in the early morning has produced some nice catches of wahoo. Nobody is catching 8 or 10 a day like we will soon on the Bahamas, but 2 or 3 nice 40 to 60 pound wahoo a day sounds like a lot of fun to me. As matter of fact, we will be doing trolling ballyhoos on the planers tomorrow targeting wahoo.
We have been to the Bahamas a few times this summer and the fishing in Bimini has been very good. The yellowtail snapper fishing has been great. On our last trip we had the yellowtails chummed within a few feet of the boat. Normally the sharks can get really bad in Bimini and catching yellowtails can be problematic if the sharks hone in on you. This time, the yellowtails were so close that the sharks didn’t have any time to eat the hooked yellowtails. It was epic snapper fishing with lots of big flags caught.
Swordfishing has also been off this summer but that can be normal for June and July. Usually, the current in the Gulfstream is at its highest and that certainly was the case last week with over 5 knots of current on the sword grounds. We did catch a nice pomfret but no sword bites that day. The current usually slows down a bit in August and then steadily decreases in the fall.
We don’t have a ton of trips coming up but it’s a good time to get ready for next season. We just put on a new set of Mercury Outboards this past month and had the bottom painted, so the boat is all set and now we will work on tackle and the occasional trip until fall time arrives and we start getting back into kite fishing.
There is still time to take advantage of the great fishing in Bimini so if you interested give me a call. Also keep checking out our Instagram page and if you see the mahi fishing picking up gives us a call and let’s go catch some fish!
Capt. Dean Panos