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Saltwater Fishing in Florida: What You Can Expect to Reel In

Man holding fly rod
Are you planning to do some saltwater fishing in Florida? Florida has over 2,200 miles of shoreline, which makes it the perfect place to bring your rod and grab a charter. Before chartering a boat or joining a deep-sea fishing group, you should know what you can expect to catch off-shore when you cast your line.
If you are visiting Florida, make sure to join a deep-sea fishing charter for barracuda. These predatory fish are often found around reefs and wreckage, looking for shrimp, squid, and smaller fish to eat. Smaller barracuda (five pounds or less) often hang-out in seagrass, and these smaller fish are the best for eating, as the larger fish can be poisonous.
Prepare yourself for a fight when fishing for barracuda, as it can be an exciting struggle to get one onboard. When fishing for barracuda, live bait seems to work best.
Another popular fish for sport in Florida is the wahoo. Wahoo typically weigh between 35 and 60 pounds and are tireless fighters. You can find these fish in any weather or wind, but typically fishing for wahoo requires speedy trolling in the deep water where they feed.
Wahoo travel in packs, so you should bait while trolling and have several lines in the water at once. Be careful, though: wahoo have teeth that bite and can injure you quite seriously.  
A grouper is a tasty catch that you can fish for year-round in Florida. These fish tend to move closer to shore during cold weather, so you will have to travel further out to catch any in the summer months. Spinning tackle and heavy reels may be the best way to catch grouper, and frozen squid and sardines are effective bait. You will usually find groupers near ledges and reefs.
For a colorful and delicious catch, you may want to fish for mahi-mahi, also known as dorado or dolphinfish. These ferocious fish will give you a run for your money, often weighing over 50-pounds. The world record catch weighed 87 pounds caught in Costa Rica.
Mahi-mahi travel in schools when small, but alone or with a mate when they mature. You will also need to move fast to reel in mahi-mahi; they are fast swimmers and can swim up to 50 mph in open water.  
November through March is the best time to look for Kingfish, which are primarily found in Florida waters. These fish leap, often as far as 10 feet, and they are strong with sharp teeth. Kingfish weigh around 30- pounds typically, though much bigger specimens have been caught in the region. These fish are often mistaken for mackerel, another flavorful fish without a lot of bones.
Another fish you will encounter when deep-sea fishing in Florida is the Bonita. Bonita is a member of the tuna family, although this catch isn't as tasty as other species. It weights up to 15 pounds and has dark flesh. You can catch Bonita with various kinds of tackle and baits, and you will find most success if you use a troll-and-drift strategy.
Speaking of tuna, you can't go fishing in Florida without knowing about Blackfin Tuna, the most common species in Fort Lauderdale. Blackfin Tuna grow fast, though they rarely weigh more than 30 pounds. These fish are a much-sought and short-lived species that fight feverishly when caught.
If you are taking a charter, rain doesn't typically interfere with the schedule, but time of day does impact what you will catch. Evening fishing yields species like Snapper and Kingfish, while Mahi-Mahi and Bonita are out during the day, looking for food.
Ready to do some fishing? Check out these species to learn more about what to expect when fishing off the Florida coast - and how you have the best chance of reeling one in. Tour and fish from Fort Lauderdale with Flamingo Deep Sea Fishing. Our experienced fishing guides will go where the action is and help get your catch back to shore.
Flamingo Deep Sea Fishing
801 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: 954-462-9194