When considering what to do with your free time in the cooler months do you think about fishing? You should. The charter companies run their trips all year long and although the seas may be larger than in the summer, the fish are still biting.
As anglers know, the fish you catch close to shore are different than those 50 miles offshore on a Gulf Stream trip. With the cooler water temperatures many of the fish move further from the coast to deeper waters where it’s warmer. Wahoo and Tuna are most prevalent right now according to Captain Bill of Endless Summer Charters. He said “the Mahi-Mahi are a few here and there but they generally come in number late March, all of April and May. These Mahi-Mahi are the Larger ones and generally plentiful.”
Closer to shore you can expect to reel in some Black Seabass, Flounder, Grouper, Snapper, Shark or Large Red Bass. Some of the fish being caught are just too large to keep; the size limits put out by the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) restrict keeping fish that are below and above a certain size depending on the type of fish. These fish that are too big are great for bragging rights, but you won’t get any meat from them. The charters will allow you to quickly take a picture and then release the fish back into the water.
If you fish during the summer you should know all you need to for some winter time fishing. Endless Summer Charters uses the same baits all year long: sardines, squid, live bait, Ballyhoo and lures. As a first timer going offshore it’s nice to know that the crew has done this before. They will be helpful setting your rod up, letting you know which bait to use depending on what you are targeting, and are able to put you on the spots where the fish are known to be biting.
Interested in trying out a charter trip? December through March is the offseason and though you can’t expect any discounts, the amount of other people on the boat might be less. Don’t wait two more months to get back out on the water. Now that football season is over what else are you going to do? Spring cleaning or offshore fishing?