This Week’s Drift & Sport Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Both our drift and sport fishing boats have been busy. We’ve been sailing and catching fish! Not always fast packed action but sizable fish on the sport boat as well as our drift boat.

 

With the wind blowing for the next few days, fishing bottom on the drift boat will be tough. The boat moves across the area too quickly so only the most tenacious anglers will be rewarded. On the up side, drifting baits will be the best. Kingfish, Bonito, Tuna and even an occasional Sailfish could be on the table for those who venture out.

On the sport fishing boats, we have more control over the weather. Live bait has been the best with some fish too large for the light tackle we use. It’s not that you can’t catch a 200 or 300 lbs. shark on light tackle, it just takes some time. Like hours as in multiple. Light tackle is more suited for Sailfish, Barracuda, Wahoo and big Kings.

 

Trolling on the sport boats has had success with some smaller Sailfish, a few Kings and a Wahoo or two. But both the deep and shallow wrecks have been teaming with fish. Large Barracuda as seen in the pictures here and Amberjacks have been keeping our rods bent. And that occasional BIG bite that usually escapes has you thinking “What did I have on there”?

 

One of the fish you might have had on could be this! We opted for heavier tackle to land this 9+’ Bull shark. And it still took an hour to get it boat side.

The afternoons have been better for Sailfish. There is a video clip on our Facebook page. While this fish was very acrobatic when we hooked him, by the time I got the video going, the touched leader was all I got. You can find he video at https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/ .

 

That’s all for this week’s fishing. Hope to see you soon.

 

Captain Steve

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Wisconsin Badger’s Hammerhead Shark

Posted on by Captain Steve

With the week between Christmas and New Year behind us, we’ve found that one of our trips created a bit of a stir. The Wisconsin Badger’s Hammerhead Shark is what we’ll call this.

 

5 of the players and one of the coaches from Wisconsin joined us for some fishing before the Orange Bowl game. The late afternoon trip set out around 4 pm. We are looking for BIG fish, after all, these were big boys. LOL

 

Sitting in deep water over 600’, we waited and I was about to try in shallower water when we got as bite. It was funny because we had the boys try and pull line off the reel. They had a tough time with where the drag was set. This fish did not have that problem and pulled off about 100 yards quickly.

 

Our angler never faded and stayed set on his goal. It took a little over 30 minutes to see what we had caught, a 9’ Hammerhead shark. We boated the fish for measurement, tagging and pictures before releasing him. But that’s not what caused a stir.

 

It seems at the game they posted a picture I had taken from the fly bridge of the shark and the crew on the Jumbo Tron. Hammerhead sharks are protected in state waters because they are endangered. The public and media were calling the FWC, our fish and game people.

 

An agent contacted me some days later for an interview of what occurred. I explained we go to great lengths to take care of the game fish we catch and release. We have a hose that pumps sea water for our catches to breath and this helps us release them in good shape.

 

When you see game fish caught on our boat in a picture, if it’s not edible, it is released. And it was the same with the Wisconsin Badger’s Hammerhead Shark.

 

Happy New Year

Captain Steve

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Santa Has Delivered Awesome Fishing This Christmas

Posted on by Captain Steve

Kingfish

What a great past week it has been for our Sportfishing Charters here in Fort Lauderdale.  Not only is the weather absolutely beautiful with calm seas and sunny skies, but we are also experiencing some very rare catches right now including white marlin and some big wahoo.

The morning have started out with a chill in the air and a very light breeze leaving the seas glassy.  As we push away from the dock, we look forward to watch mother nature paints each day offshore.  The picture is always different and the start of our winter season is officially under way.

Clearing the Port Everglades inlet puts us about 2 miles away from the fishing grounds.  Did I mention we are the closest boat to the fishing in Fort Lauderdale? This gives our 4 hour trips much more fishing time than most of the fleet.  As we break the 90 feet of water edge, we are looking for current, birds, weed lines, and debris to give away signs of fish in the area.  It hasn’t been taking long until a school of ballyhoo or flying fish goes under the boat, letting us know there are gamefish nearby.

As my mate sets out the lines, we have been hooking up quickly on kingfish from 10 to 20 pounds along with a plentiful bonita bite which make great fights and even better bait for our monster shark charters.

Check out this nice smoker going from the ocean right to the smoke house for excellent fish dip:

Kingfish

The limit on kingfish is 2 per person and with limits early in the am, I move on to deeper water to look for mahi.  The past few days there has been a beautiful rip in about 400 feet of water with small terns feeding in the weed patches.  From up in the tower I spot the mahi schools and ask our anglers to pitch live baits behind the boat.  It wasn’t long before we loaded up on some nice 5 to 10 pound mahi.

With a nice box of mahi and king mackerel, we still had about 2 hours left on our 6 hour sportfishing trip.  I am hearing on the radio that there is a sailfish bite going on near the anchored cargo ships.  These ships stay at anchor for weeks, even months on end and the bait fish congregate under them.  It makes for great fishing and easy feeding for sailfish, white marlin, wahoo, jacks and much more!

I didn’t have enough wind to get out the kites, so decided to troll around the ship using live baits that we caught earlier in the trip to see if anyone was home.  It didn’t take long to get our first bite, but unfortunately the fish got off. About 20 minutes later we had another fish on and got a good hook into her for a nice catch and release.

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

While not every trip can be as exciting as this one and there are no guarantees in fishing, we can guarantee that you will get an expert high level captain and mate that want to catch fish more than you do.  We are passionate about putting you on fish and having fun while doing it.

We still have dates open here in the 2017 as we wrap up the year and we are booking out the winter and spring season of 2018.  We are also still running the $550 special for 4 hours, so please give us a call if you are ready to go fishing.

Tight Lines,
Captain Steve

 

Posted in Sport

Fishing This Week

Posted on by Captain Steve

Most of our fishing this week has been done in what we here in south Florida consider cold. OK, try not to laugh. You bundle up with winter clothes or are scraping ice or snow from your windows. As your temperatures hit 20’s or less, we thin blooded people prepare to brave 50’s! Ok, go ahead and laugh. LOL

But our Florida sun comes out and things get warm quickly. These cold snaps really help our fishing and keep things moving south. Just like many of you from up north. We’ll be seeing some of you soon.

Our area here off the shore is like a virtual highway for fish migrating. Drops in sea temperatures have fish traveling for warmer waters. And just a few miles from shore everything from small to large will pass by. Sometimes they come in spurts of one species or another. Other times it can be like rush hour.

Sailfish are what we are expecting soon. They ride the waves and sea swells south against the current. It is known as “tailing” as they surf down sea on their travels south. It hasn’t happened just yet but will soon.

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charter

Dolphin have been making appearances as well. While some sea weed helps, they too are just moving south and can be caught just out of the blue. Li8ve bait has been the best for these but trolling has also had good results.

Our wrecks have been producing both bottom fish and some large predators as in the picture of Mike holding his monster Barracuda. Almost 30 minutes on light tackle to land this beast, a true trophy!

We always try to provide our guests with what they hope to catch. But our main goal is to catch fish! And this “cool” weather has been helping our fishing this week.

Captain Steve

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Late Fall Dolphin

Posted on by Captain Steve

While our waters cool off Fort Lauderdale, the late fall Dolphin have been gracing us with their presence. The wrecks, both deep and shallow, are also performing well. And some other stuff mixed in. Here’s the rundown.

On the rip

While a “rip” is any type of quiet water on one side and current on the other, this is just one attraction that leads us to Dolphin. Any kind of flotsam, weed beds or even just a color change can hold fish.

Lately we’ve been finding a stringy type of sea grass holding Dolphin within just a few miles from shore. Only a few throw backs, most are in the 5-10 pound range with a few nice sized gaffers. Always a popular fish with our guests for both the fight and table fare. It is probably the most requested fish.

 

Closer to shore

Come toward shore just a mile or two and you are fishing back in the reef area. Kingfish, Tuna and Sailfish have been caught in this area. While they are thick, they have been biting with regularity. The kings have been small unless using live bait. That can produce some of the big ones!

On the Drift

Our drift boat, the Lois Ann, has been having great luck with small Kings. Many are throw backs because of their size but certainly a thrill to catch. Daytime drifting has also had good catches of Trigger, Mutton Snapper and some good sized Yellowtails.

The evening anchor trip has been having good catches of Mangrove, Vermillion and Yellowtail Snapper. The crowds have been light so there’s been plenty of room.

No matter which type of fishing you do, you can expect some good results. And we’ll be looking for those late fall Dolphin until the trend changes.

Captain Steve

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Charter Boat Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

With the time change firmly in place now, I get a glimpse of the sea as I come over the bridge on my way to the charter boat dock. The sun is too low for a look at the color. But sea conditions look nice even though the wind is blowing.

 

I arrive an hour or so early before the trip. But some days, our guests are just as early. Anxious with anticipation and excited about their charter boat trip.

 

As we prepare for our day we have a chance to find out our guests expectations. Some really don’t care what they catch. Something to eat would be nice, maybe a BIG fish. Others have prepared a semi shopping list, specific in their wants of what is to be caught. To this I can only respond that we are going fishing, not shopping. LOL We’ll still do our best to fill their bill.

I can tell that today’s group is here strictly to have a good time. I am asked if one gentleman can bring his own rod. Even though we have everything we need, I say sure, bring it. He then produces a pink and purple Disney Princess rod from his car, his granddaughter’s. Oh, this is going to be good… LOL

 

It seemed the day went by in a second. Before I knew it, we were on our way home. Mahi-mahi and Kingfish for were dinner. A nice Barracuda was released and some other hits on our live bait. And while everyone on board caught fish and had a great time, I wanted more for these folks. I always do.

 

Super nice and full of humor was the theme of this outing. And that is what charter boat fishing is all about. Tomorrow I will watch the dawn break again on my in to work. I’ll meet my guests. Will it be you?

 

Captain Steve

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This Week’s Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

It has always amazes me how much sea conditions can change, and how quickly, as they did in this week’s fishing. And with these changes come different types of fish you can catch.

 

North current can change to none or south in minutes. Water color can go from blue to green or vice versa quickly as well. Many times that green water has to do with rain as it did the other day while catching bait. The Ballyhoo came to the chum bag quickly but would not come to the surface for quite some time, the fresh water keeping them down a foot or so.

 

This week’s fishing has been very good however, even with these changes. Bait is very thick migrating through the area and has Dolphin and Tuna in close to shore. Live bait has always been the most productive for Dolphin but trolling gives you the ability to cover ground and find these fish. As our sea temperatures drop, this will change and mostly live bait will be the big producer.

 

Sailfish activity is also on the rise. At this time of year, the smaller, younger Sails frequent shallow waters near the reef. Some bigger Sailfish are a bit further off shore and again found on the troll.

 

Bottom fishing has been excellent! Grouper and Amberjack have been found on the deeper wrecks with the occasional Snapper or Cobia as well. There are some BIG fish down there… We don’t always win this battle. Some broken leaders have us wondering what that was and how big. LOL

 

All in all it is a great time to be out there catching fish as you can see in the picture. Andrew and his new wife Jessica had a great day with us catching a variety of fish. They could only hold 4 for the picture on the way in.

 

This week’s fishing has been good. We’re expecting the same for the next few weeks.

 

Captain Steve

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Fall Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Our first cold front is passing through the Fort Lauderdale area as I write this fishing report. And just those few degrees less are already making changes in our fishing.

 

The biggest change is our sea temperatures. If you’ve ever snorkeled in warm waters like we have here in the summer, as you return to the surface, you go through a thermocline. The water’s surface is much warmer than the sea beneath it. Looking through your mask, it appears as if someone smeared Vaseline on glass, it gets blurry. Being cold blooded, fish don’t care for that temperature change or blurred vision.

 

As the days get shorter with less sun and the cooler air temps, the ocean surface is closer, if not the same, as the water below. This increases a fish’s ability to feed on the surface. So we go from depending on our deep lines for bites to most everything we have out.

 

Another plus is north winds. North winds create swells that allow some fish to be helped migrating south. Specifically, I’m speaking about Sailfish. With winds from the north, they can “surf” the surface of the wave. This is known as “tailing”. It’s time to stop trolling and get the kites out!

 

But that’s what is coming soon. What has been happening is some good Dolphin and Kingfish action. The bottom fishing has also been producing some good sized fish as is in the picture of this group from Denver. Nolan, the smallest, caught this Greater Amberjack, with help from dad and his brother. Grouper and a few early Cobia are also being caught.

 

With a bit of tropical wetness coming tomorrow and another cold front on its heels? Well, just going fishing in low 80’s will be a pleasure. As for what we will catch? Let’s find out.

 

Captain Steve

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Lois Ann Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

While the Fanntastic Fishing website is primarily about sport fishing we also have a drift boat. Today we will talk about the Lois Ann, our drift fishing boat.

 

The Lois Ann, a 65’ aluminum craft, is designed as a head/ party/ drift boat that carry up to 60 passengers. While we don’t have a full kitchen aboard Frank manages to put out hamburgers, hotdogs and a variety of breakfast and regular sandwiches 5 days a week. Assorted snack and drinks are also available.

 

But the Lois Ann is more than just a drift fishing boat. Many corporate groups of over 6 passengers use the boat for sport fishing. The outriggers are put out, the kites fly and pretty much anything a conventional sport fish can do the Lois Ann can.

 

But the main thing is the fishing! And fishing is great right now. When conditions are right for drifting, Kingfish are biting well. We’ve also been catching Mahi-mahi in fairly close to shore as you can see in the top picture.

Bottom fishing has also been great. You’ve seen what the charter boat has had recently but the drift boat fishing the same areas and have some good success. One very large Black grouper and another legal Red Grouper top the list this week.

Now, the evening anchor trip focuses on snappers. Yellowtail, Vermillion and Mangrove are the targets after the sun goes down and the 5 hour trip has been doing well. They have even been known to come in early because the limit of fish has been made.

 

Captain Jimmy, along with captains Adam and Patrick are the boys that run the trips. Anthony and Dom are the deck techs and helping people with instructions, baiting up and landing their fish.

 

So check out the Fanntastic Facebook page from time to time. https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/ The Lois Ann along with our sport fishing charter boat are both featured.

 

Captain Steve

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Tiger Shark Makes Day

Posted on by Captain Steve

We have had an interesting week here with a Tiger Shark making one customer very happy. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

 

Our week begins with calm seas, light west winds and some great fishing. Trolling on the reef produced good catches in Kingfish, Skipjack Tuna and lots of small Barracuda with a few big ones mixed in. Because of the west wind, weed and other debris that hold Dolphin and Wahoo were further off shore and hard to reach on the shorter trips.

 

Bottom fishing on the deeper wrecks has also been very good. Black Grouper are moving through our area. We’ve managed at least one per trip and 3 on out last all day. We’ve also lost a few back into the wreck. Medium sized Amberjack are also somewhat prevalent with this kind of fishing.

 

But even a day with a great catch isn’t always good enough. Not if your heart is set on catching a shark and that’s what Jordan wanted. So with just an hour or so to go, we put out the big baits. And as time grew near for us to go in and still no bite? They extended their trip another 2 hours.

 

We had been picking at small bottom stuff while fishing for the big one. Tilefish, Vermillion snapper and Tinker mackerel were biting. Our bottom bait had been decimated by the small fish so we freshened the bait and waited some more.

 

And then it happened. The bottom rod bent over sharply. And that was all, it was back to resting peacefully. Really??? Again it bent down hard and then… nothing. Oh come on!

 

The third time was the charm, we were connected to something and we would find out in about 40 minutes with a lot of straining that a Tiger shark had taken our bait. He measured at 1” shy of 8’, was tagged, photographed and released. Check out that mouth.

 

Our weather has cleared and we’ll be back out fishing. Won’t you join us?

 

Captain Steve

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