Peak pelagic season is upon us, which is one of the most special fishing times of the year. For 25–30 days in April and May, we’ve got smooth waters with low winds and the nicest weather of the year. We can go out further than other times of the year, which means with a 10-hour or longer trip you can enjoy peaceful seas, beautiful temperatures, and catch some of the most desirable eating and trophy fish.
This is a great time to take advantage of our longer standard package trips, though we still offer overnight 3-to-7-day trips, deep drop, swordfish, and destination trips at customized prices. We’re here to accommodate whatever kind of trip you want to put together, whether it falls into the category of our regular packages or you want to plan a custom trip.
Understanding Pelagic Fish
Pelagic fish inhabit the water column, as opposed to the coasts or bottom of the sea. The term Pelagic can apply to ocean fish or lake fish, and some coastal species as well. In our area, the category includes some of the best fighting and eating fish in the sea! Expect to hook Blackfin Tuna, African Pompano, and Wahoo—the fastest fish in the ocean, second only to the Mako shark.
Right now, we are in the peak migration season for all these fish species, when they are most accessible in Floridian waters. They come in high numbers, and closer to the shore than at other times of year. You might run into one on a longer expedition at other times of year, but for this period it’s hard not to see them when you head out for 10+ hours.
What Can You Expect?
These are fun fish to catch! As opposed to some other fish in the water, you can expect a 20-min fight. You’ll be sure to get your adrenaline going and get a good workout while you bring in your haul. These are the kinds of fish you see mounted on the walls in bars and homes around the country. It’s an exciting catch, and one worth showing off.
They’re also the best table fish around, and this is the best time to catch them. You can eat them raw or cooked; they’re sushi and sashimi grade. They’re versatile and healthy fare for any occasion. Be sure to have some raw when you return to shore, and freeze what you don’t eat to cook down the road.
Wahoo and Blackfin Tuna are caught by trolling. We run the boat at about 5–7 mph with 4/8/9 power fishing lines behind us. When you get a bite, you know it! For African pompano, we anchor the boat and drop lines with live & dead baits.
Pelagic fishing requires at least a 10-hour trip and up to an overnighter. You won’t see these fish on a shorter trip, where you’re more likely to catch snapper, kingfish, Spanish mackerel and grouper. If you’re out for Blackfin and Wahoo, at least a 12-to-14-hour trip is recommended.
Our standard packages include”
- 6 HRS = $950 – 15–20 miles – target snapper/occasional grouper/kingfish cobia/permit/Goliaths
- 8 HRS = $1,300 – 20–30 miles – grouper/snapper/cobia/Goliaths
- 10 HRS = $1,700 – 30–40 miles – Same species as 8-hr trip, but larger + Blackfin tuna
- 12 HRS = $2,000 – 40–60 miles – tuna/wahoo/African pompano/grouper/snapper
- 14 HRS = $2,400 – 50–80 miles – Same species as 12-hr trip, but larger
- 30 HRS = $3,600 – (2-day bag limits)
We’re able to accommodate most any request in terms of what you want your trip to look like. We build custom trips with you and provide a reasonable quote. We can accommodate requests to go after specific species such as kitty mitchell, yellow wedge grouper, tilefish, snowy grouper, queen snapper, silky snapper, gag grouper, scamp, swordfish and many other exotics that appear in the area. Swordfish trips are a regular request we get which we can always accommodate.
Some people also wish to visit specific areas such as the Tortugas, Florida Keys, Elbow and Middle Grounds. Your Bad Habit Fishing trip can truly be whatever you want it to be, just reach out to us and we can help you put it together!