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Capt. Skip Dana - Broward Report - Nov. 18

November 18, 2011

Fishing the past few weeks has been pretty hit and miss. We had to deal with a serious amount of fresh water from all the rain we had which made the water offshore look like chocolate milk and the cold fronts aren’t steady enough yet so we’re stuck in transition until we start to get a steady blast of coldfronts which will push out of fall and into winter, and into some redhot fishing. But that’s not neccesarily a bad thing.

Most people think of sailfish first when we start getting a steady dose of coldfronts, true, but some of the best dolphin fishing of the year can be had in the early fall and it’s usually before the biggest push of sailfish arrive. This past week is a prime example of that. With the water starting to clean up a bit, the dolphin bite pretty much went off up and down the coast with most of the fish in tight on the edge from 80 feet out to 300. These aren’t your normal spring and summer dolphin that are offshore on debris or weedlines. They are inshore wreaking havoc on huge schools of ballyhoo and flying fish that will be offshore till we really get pounded by a couple serious coldfronts. You can catch them any number of ways, on the driftboats we’ve been catching them pretty much everyday by accident, but the charter boats and livebaiters have been putting the wood to them. Most of these fish are in the 8-20 pound range but there will be some studs mixed in and very seldom will you see any schoolies this time of year.

Not saying that the sailfish bite hasn’t started yet, it’s just not as good as it’s going to get in a few weeks. Last week fishing in the Jeb Bush tournament there was a decent bite stretched out from Palm Beach to Miami, but the best bite seemed to be in the north end of Boca to Delray with the top boat posting a very respectable 15 releases. Our team, Encore, went 5 for 5 to finish as top outboard and we took down the outboard calcutta, a nice way to start out the season.

In the sailfish cup this week the bite wasn’t as spread out, although there were fish caught from Miami to Hillsboro Inlet, the best bite and the top boats were fishing at or near the northern boundary just south of Hillsboro Inlet. The bite was on for day one, not so much for day two with most of the boats not even seeing a fish the second day.

The snapper, grouper, and cobia bite has been excellent on the driftboats the past couple weeks. Some nice size muttons and yellowtails have been scattered on the reef from 110 feet to way inside in a shallow as 40 feet on the second reef. The bigger muttons, groupers both gag and blacks, and the cobias have all been around the wrecks off Pompano Pier. The cobias have been really thick but lot’s of little guys mixed in, it’s been about 12 to 1 throwbacks to keepers, and lot’s of sharks mixed in there too. Good luck if you can get out weather looks nasty for tomorrow but sunday looks a little better.

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