Fishing Charters – Palm Beach
When it comes to fishing, Palm Beach, Florida’s set of geographical features creates a unique interplay that is highly attractive to blue water fish like sailfish, marlin, tuna, dolphin and swordfish. It does this because the width of the North American Continental Shelf transitions to its narrowest point here off Palm Beach, Florida than it does anywhere else along North America’s East Coast. As a result, the northbound flow of the Atlantic’s mightiest oceanic current, the Gulf Steam, comes within a mere 3 miles off shore, closer than anywhere in the US.
Having access to the Gulf Stream so conveniently close (20 minutes from our dock) is only the half of it. The other is that this mighty “river within the sea” serves as an oceanic highway of sorts for a multitude of migratory and open ocean marine life.
When you run the list of what comes through here, it can be like reading through the alphabet – amberjack, dolphin, cobia, greater barracuda, grouper, kingfish, marlin, sailfish, shark, snapper, tuna and wahoo to a name a few. We should also mention that the deep-water expanse between Palm Beach and the Bahamas Banks offers exceptional swordfishing. Visit our album to see our recent catch pics!
Sailfish is one of our signature attractions as Palm Beach is located in the middle of “sailfish alley” which spans from Stuart down to Miami. While we enjoy catching these time-to-time during the summer, the best time for finding them is during sailfish season, which starts around Thanksgiving and runs until the end of April.
As fall sets in, these spindlebeak speedsters migrate down the coast to congregate along the edge our narrow shelf where the shallows meet the blue to ride out most of the winter.
Sailfish are notoriously picky eaters with excellent eyesight, so trolling with fresh ballyhoo to live baiting with kite rigs is still among the most effective in getting one hooked up. When that happens, you will discover why they are the genuine article when it comes blue water sport fish.
Near shore, the presence of the Gulf Stream enlivens area reefs, bringing the nutrition on the currents needed for corals, sponges and fish life to thrive. As such, many of our reefs and wrecks are a major stomping ground for a variety of grouper, snapper, jacks and greater barracuda. Cobia are common in the area year-round, but the best time is from early spring until late fall. In addition to grouper, snapper and cobia making excellent table fare, should any one of the aforementioned reef dwellers decide to put the hammer down, great ready for the fight that can turn brutal enough for them to earn your respect.
In addition to sailfish, we mustn’t forget the fellow in the blue suite.
During the summer months, particularly July through October (prime season) blues in the 100-400 lb. range are not an uncommon customer in the Florida Straights. But unlike sails, this larger member of the billfish family favors deeper waters further offshore. Looking for one takes a bit more concentrative effort, venturing further offshore (more feasible on a full day charter), trolling large bridled live baits or big artificial lures.
This is just one part why to why blue water sport fishing community see the blue marlin as without a doubt among the most coveted trophy fish. The other of course is the fight. As anyone who has taken one on will tell you, when the strike happens, buckle up! You are in for it now!
The proximity of the Gulf Stream to the coast spells blue water fish. Dolphin are caught all year long and will swallow anything they think they can fit in their mouth. They are aggressive fighters and flash brilliant blue, yellow and green colors.
Among the tuna clan, blackfin tuna show up in strong numbers in the spring and range in size from 5 to 45 lbs. Other varieties common here include Bonita and skipjack tuna in the 5 to 20 lbs. range, along with the occasional, yellowfin tuna, when working further off shore.
When it comes to the big mackerels, we have both the silver kings (kingfish) and, of course, the one that makes our pulse quicken, the tiger striped speed demon himself, the wahoo. In addition to being one of the most sought-after food quality fish in Palm Beach, wahoo are truly tenacious fighters through a series of high-speed runs. When and where one will show up is anyone’s guess. It can happen while sailfishing with a kite to trolling baits and lures for marlin and tuna. Usually the best hour is early morning at first light and the late evening near sunset. If you really want to up your chances significantly in taking down a large wahoo (Sailfish Marina’s record is 86-lbs.), enquire about one of our special hi-speed wahoo trips.
It is well known swordfish makes one of the best table fare of any fish. So good, in fact, that there are concerns commercial fishing pressure could lead to their extinction!
In 2001, commercial long lining for broadbill swordfish in the Florida Straights was put to an end, as the population was in heavy decline. Since then, the population has seen a big resurgence to where 15 – 20 miles off the Palm Beach Coast, the swordfish grounds are highly fertile once again, offering some the best recreational swordfishing in the Atlantic.
While this great deep-water fish are often fished at night (which we do), they are also routinely caught during daytime hours. Daytime Swordfishing is one of our specialties.
The biggest swords are usually caught during day vs. night, with fish weighing in from 250 to well over 500 lbs. But, because these broadbill gladiators cruise the depths down below 1500 feet, it takes specialized sportfishing tackle with electric reels to help work the ten to twelve pounds of lead it takes to get the bait down to them.
When the strike happens, get ready for a fight, as these highly aggressive, extremely fast swimming fish will give all their worth with some battles lasting more than an hour.