With the winter winds slowly moving upon us, it's time to get a little selective of which days we want to head offshore. But, if you do get offshore, the fishing is fantastic.
Palm Beach-Jupiter Offshore Fishing Report
Mahi-Mahi: The Mahi bite has remained constant off of Palm Beach and Jupiter, with fish holding in 150-300 feet of water. Trolling is still the best bet for targeting these fish, but captains have reported steady hookups with dolphin while drifting and bottom fishing. If you should decide to troll for them, then consider checking the wave conditions and use this information to assist you in making your selection of baits/artificials. If you find that the ocean is rough, leave the baits at home and consider running artificials. Rough seas can cause baits to fail much quicker. When we troll in rough seas I prefer Jetstream lures or bullet heads. I find these lures cut through the "chop & slop" much easier. On calm days, you should mix up your spread with baits and artificials, such as flat heads or turbine head lures to put a little more noise in the water.
Kingfish: The Kingfish bite is steady just south of "Breakers Reef" and just North of Jupiter inlet. Most fish are holding in the 75-150 ft. range. My preferred method for catching these fish is still live bait. During our last trip, I was able to find huge schools of pilchards just north of the Blue Heron Bridge. I loaded up with bait and was able to boat two nice fish in the 10-12 pound range.
Black Fin: The Black fins are still hanging around the Breakers reef in 200-300 foot of water. The best way to catch these fish is troll Jet head "bubblers" and feathers. Most fish we saw last trip were very small, but captains have reported fish in the 10-20 pound range being boated daily.
*Remember, tuna is a fish to be eaten the same day; tuna isn't good after you freeze it.
Wahoo: The Wahoo bite is slow but steady, most fish being caught in the very early morning with split tailed mullet and ballyhoo rigged islanders the preferred bait. Some captains are having luck live baiting these fish as well. Whatever the method, double check your knots and tackle. These fish are unforgiving once hooked up and love to push fishermen and tackle to their limits.
Captains are reporting these fish in the 200-500 foot range.
Mutton Snapper/Yellow tails/Grouper/Lane Snapper: The bottom fishing is at its peak right now with a lot of fish holding tight to deeper reefs and wrecks. The favored depths for these fish are in the 90-150 foot range. So when heading out, check your GPS for some deeper spots that you can try. Remember, deeper waters mean larger weights, so don't forget to stock up before heading offshore.
Palm Beach-Jupiter Inshore Fishing Report
Our area is still seeing good numbers of snook and tarpon moving along the coast.
Most of these fish will be following the mullet run that has graciously come to our area. If you find the schools of mullet, remember to fish the outsides of the schools for best results.
These schools of mullet are holding a lot of different species such as sharks, tarpon, snook, jacks and even bluefish.
I like to rig a 30# spinner set up with a ½ oz. sliding sinker attached to a single circle hook. I like to place my hook on the bottom side of the mullet about 2 inches from the tail. This will force the mullet to swim down below the school were the predators are holding.
Also, remember to be courteous to your fellow anglers that may be fishing the school as well.
Everyone get out there and have a great time on the water and be safe.
Remember: keep what you plan on eating that night and release the rest for our future generations.
See you on the water
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