When was the last time you went on a drift boat?
Everyone who has fished the ocean for any length of time has ventured out on a drift boat or two, but this time of year it can be a very productive means to catch snapper, kingfish and even dolphin.
No more than a month ago the Blue Heron II, out of Jupiter, managed to put anglers on a giant school of cobia resulting in 20 plus fish being caught.
It is nice to go out with a captain and crew who have already discovered the right water color, temperature and depth. It can save incredible amounts of time not having to deal with these discoveries on your own.
There are several drift or head boats that are smaller and will only have 10 anglers onboard.
The Black Dog out of Jupiter is one such boat. For $75 per person it is a very good deal and offers a less crowded feel than your typical drift boat.
No matter the choice, a drift boat or head boat will yield great fishing this time of year; but fish Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons for the best results. Trust me.
Offshore report: Big bait equals big fish. Schools of dolphin continue to be caught in the 120- to 200-foot-mark, but getting to the big fish can be difficult. Keep a big lure or big blue runner ready for the bigger fish in the schools. Trolling smaller feathers, lures and skirts promises more strikes, but you are sacrificing a focus on big fish.
Kingfish have begun to show up in earnest, with several anglers reporting 40 to 60-pound fish as shallow as 40 feet of water.
The snapper bite has been hit or miss in northern Palm Beach County, but the southern end of the county is very productive for yellowtail and muttons along the wrecks and reefs.
Inshore report: The inshore bite has slowed significantly, but the usual suspects are still around.
Fishing on an easterly breeze around high tide is your best bet to find mackerel, jacks, bluefish and pompano. Days that are completely flat offer a good snook bite along the beaches, using white or yellow jigs.
Permit are also beginning to move into the region. A week ago there was a 35-pound permit caught from Juno Pier on a crab.
Evenings seem to produce the best bite, so enjoy those after dinner fishing outings.
Tight lines, crystal clear waters and sunny skies to all.
Is there something more you would like to see in this article? Send me an e-mail with your suggestions.
Rob Fielding is an addicted angler and the owner of Sharkey's Tackle in Jupiter. For more information call (561) 630-3100 or e-mail Rob.Fielding@SharkeysTackle.com.