The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year with an Honorable Mention to South Florida. Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. With over 12,000 Billfish Reports submitted to us in 2016 from around the World, to even be considered for our Top 10 makes a fishery one of the best!

Photo by Kevin Dodge

The one thing you can say about South Florida Billfishing is it is consistent. Consistently good that is. A lot of fisheries tend to get wide swings from good to bad on the bite, but South Florida just seems to always produce. That is not to say one year is better than another, but if you want to catch a Sailfish or a Swordfish you have a good chance almost any month of the year.

We are defining South Florida from St. Lucie County to Dade County and everywhere in between. This are has always been known as “Sailfish Alley” and for good reason. When the winter winds start pushing south and the seas begin to get “lumpy” the Sailfish start to chew. A lot of fisheries try to claim to be the Sailfish Capital of “whatever” but South Florida can make a solid claim to be the Sailfish Capital of the Atlantic. We had thirty-four (34) double digit Sailfish days reported to us, with the best day on the L&H out of Miami releasing twenty (21) in a Day. L&H had our second best day as well and is joined by Miss Annie (Palm Beach), both releasing 18 Sailfish in a day.

Sailfishing may still be the king in these waters, but the Swordfishing is absolutely World Class. We have said it before, South Florida and the Florida Keys are the best places in the World if you are looking to catch a Swordfish. The majority of these Swordfish are not monsters, but we did get a report of a 550 lbs. Swordfish caught by RJ Boyle (Lighthouse Point). This was one of only two Swordfish (that we got reports on) over 500 lbs. in the entire state.

There are other Billfish in these waters with an occasional Blue Marlin and White Marlin released, but we would not call these a consistent option. South Florida is a true year round fishery with both Sailfish and Swordfish available any month of the year. What they lack in size, they make up in numbers, but given how much “weight” we put into larger fish for our Top 10, it is tough for this fishery to really bust up the ratings. With that said, if you are looking for great billfish action within sight of the beach, you need not leave the US.

Congratulations to South Florida on their great season and for their Honorable Mention in our Top 10 of 2016.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Boynton Beach, FL – Sandman went 17-22 on Sailfish.

Lighthouse Point, FL – RJ Boyle caught a 550 lbs. Swordfish.

Miami, FL – Double D went 15-17 on Sailfish.

Miami, FL – Jichi released 11 Sailfish.

Miami, FL – L&H released 21 Sailfish.

Miami, FL – Monster Catch went 14-18 on Sailfish

Miami, FL – Weez In the Keyz released 15 Sailfish.

Palm Beach, FL – Miss Annie went 18-24 on Sailfish.

Stuart, FL – Off the Chain weighed a 360 lbs. Swordfish.

Palm Beach, FL – Osprey released 14 Sailfish.

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2 Comments

  • Jimmy Wainwright
    Posted January 4, 2017 1:40 pm 0Likes

    How come the cut-off is Dade County – are we forgetting the Keys? I think someone was seriously impaired when this article was thought out (or not thought out well!).

    • Hook
      Posted January 4, 2017 2:20 pm 0Likes

      Hello Jimmy – We split off the Keys this year from South Florida. The geographic area was getting too large. Did the same thing on the East Coast between North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Also split up the DR.

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