So the New Year Begins.
Bait in the water for this month will be Ballyhoo, Thread Herring, Goggle eyes, maybe some Sardines as well. This month is the lull before the Spring run starts to kick in so if we get lucky with the winds and they keep pushing against our coast from the SE or NE this should help to keep bait in the surf and if there is food for the fish the fish are there to be caught.
Fishing this month will improve as the month goes on, with King Mackerel, Cobia and Spanish macks being the more prevalent fish on northern Broward piers. The days when the water is calmer and clearer will be the days to set back and keep a rod rigged with a large Cobia jig, watch for rays and those Dark moving fish behind them or around them should be cobia, toss out past them, give a couple of jigs to get there attention and they should be on it. If you are going to fish a bottom bait try using a Blue runner head. Another fish that will be caught will be King Mackerel mostly on the Northern piers a single trolly rig or as others call it a slider rig with a live Goggle eye or Ballyhoo will do the trick.
We should also see after any storms and rough water some nice size Mutton Snappers move in and around all the piers. I am never surprised when I see a 7lb to 10lb Mutton caught this time of year.
Also a good mix of fish will be caught from our Southern Broward piers, Spanish Mackerel, Bonita, Amber jacks “Lesser and Greater” Make sure you know the difference because the size on a lesser is not less than 14″ or more than 22″ fork -Daily Bag Limit is 5 per harvester. For the Greater Amber Jack minimum size limit is 28 inches fork length, Daily bag limit of one fish per harvester per day,
and they look very similar. Cobia are around the Southern piers but there are many shorty’s that do not make the number unlike the ones to the North. Bluefish are always a sure bet at night and numerous Black tip and Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks, some Mangrove snapper are also caught under the structures at night.
From the surf the Southern end will be better with Pompano starting to show, along with 3 to5 lb jacks, there will also be plenty of Pan fish like “Mojarra,” large ones, Croakers, Southern or Gulf Kingfish “Whiting” these can be caught from the beach using a double hook rig like a pompano rig with small pieces of shrimp.
Our Inlets will produce some great fish also, fishing live shrimp on a troll rite on incoming or outgoing you may get a Snook “Out of Season let it go”, Sheephead, Tripletail and 6 to 8lb Cubbera or Mangrove snapper working the edge drop offs from the sides through the inlets.
What is great about fishing this month and the next couple of months is we have a lot of different fish around so you don’t know what you may catch until you try so get out and find a nice place to take some time and fish and enjoy this time of year it only comes once a year.
Happy Fishing, the Boatless Fisherman…..a Fishing Friend