When the nighttime anchor snapper trip comes in with a catch like this? I just have to post the picture… Captain Jen, her mate Dominic and the 10 passengers had a great time with the action last night. While the evening trip has been very slow for customers, especially during the week, you can see the group reaped the rewards of a great night of fishing.
Daytime fishing on the Drift fishing boat has been a mixed bag, as have the sport fishing boats. The drift boat is usually in the area of the reef and a variety of species have been biting. A variety of snappers, a few Grouper, Porgy’s and other reef fish have been giving us some action. Vertical jigs have been producing some good Tuna bites in the deeper water where we catch Vermillion Snappers. Kingfish and Bonito round out the catch.
Sport fishing has been a bit different. Kings and Bonito have been in the reef area with decent sized Tuna out a bit deeper. Mahi-mahi have been biting on and off in recent days. You can find them one and the next they are nowhere to be found. A 6 or 8 hour trip is best if Dolphin is your targeted species.
We have also been seeing and catching some Sailfish on the troll. This time of year is very good for catching these gamefish while trolling. In the weeks to come, we’ll be switching to live bait to taget these. No matter how you hook them, they are always a ball to catch!
That’s about all for today. We have a few Swordfish trips coming up next week that we are very much looking forward to. Check back and see how we do.
August usually signals the end of summer. While most of the country begins to experience cooler weather, here in Fort Lauderdale, we look at 2 more months of hot weather. This is the time of year that the waters offshore of Ft. Lauderdale are usually at their warmest and that affects the way we fish and what we catch.
I’m sure many of you have experienced going from the shore of a lake or into the water of an ocean and felt the thermo cline (difference in temperature) of the surface water and the deeper water it sits on. Fish, being cold blooded, are sensitive to this change, not only is it felt, but seen as well. It forms a layer of water that appears blurry to our eyes, like Vaseline spread on a piece of glass. This is the main reason that we switch from live bait fishing to trolling with our deep lines out this time of year. The fish stay deeper to avoid this area. Only the hungriest of fish will penetrate this barrier. This is also why the early morning or later afternoon will produce more bites.
Here in Fort Lauderdale, our fishing close to shore has been good to excellent. Kingfish are abundant most days, with the legal limit being caught fairly easily. Mixed in with the Kings are some Bonito, a few Barracuda, Blackfin Tuna and the occasional Sailfish. The last week or so has been excellent at raising some Sails. They have been biting regularly on the days we are out.
Further offshore, in 300 to 500’ or so, Wahoo have been a fairly regular fish being caught. If you are not familiar with this fish, check it out on the web. Excellent eating and an amazingly fast and strong swimmer, these fish truly make the reel “sing” when they strike. This seasons Dolphin fishing has been very lack luster here. While we have encountered them with extremely limited success, they have not been predominant as they usually are this time of year. Still, we hope for a happy ending to this summer with a late flurry of them showing up. They will be on the move and with the tropics heating up, the debris in the water from storms makes an excellent habitat for these fish.
While the days are hot, the nights are cooler, the Swordfish grounds have had some action. While not catching a fish every trip, the bites are there. The conditions determine how things go and with a little luck, a few bites AND fish can be had.
With the offshore Dolphin fishing being slow, we have been spending more time close and doing some bottom fishing with some great success. Amberjack are still on the deeper wrecks and reefs. Mutton Snapper, a few Yellowtails and Groupers are also being caught on both live and dead bait.
August in Fort Lauderdale is hot… The weather usually reaching the lows 90’s by late morning we are thankful for the sea breeze that finally comes along, though there is no wind chill for 90 degrees…
As for the fishing here in Ft. Lauderdale,
if you want action, this can be one of the best times of year to bend the rod. The
action is usually steady with the fish on the reef biting every few minutes.
Summertime means Bonitos and a lot of them. These fierce
fighters are of poor eating quality but a blast to catch, especially on light
tackle. They will hit the top baits early morning and late afternoon, but as
the water warms, retreat to deeper water and be caught on the deep lines. It is
not unusual to catch multiple fish at one time, a sort of “Chinese fire drill”
as most lines go down with bites from these fish.
Kingfish are also a main summertime player, being caught
mostly on the deep lines throughout the day. They average 6 to 10 pounds with a
few bigger fish being caught. The smaller fish are the best for eating if eaten
fresh as these fish do not freeze well. They can be frozen if they are to be
As we fish for these fish on the reef, we also encounter a
few Sailfish from time to time. While not the numbers we get in the winter,
Sailfish are in our area almost year-round to some degree. Blackfin Tuna also
can be caught as they travel in small numbers with the Bonitos that are here.
Both these species will diminish in another month only to reappear in October
when we start all over again.
With all this activity going on so close to shore, it only
stands to reason that predators be close by to take advantage of the situation.
The picture attached to this report shows a family from yesterday. They spent 5
hours fishing with forty minutes of that time involved catching and releasing a
105” Bull Shark as represented by the flag being held. Missing from the photo
are a few Kingfish that were used for bait, as well as the Captain and Mate
whom were taking the pictures. They really didn’t need us in their picture
There are times we venture from trolling the reef to fishing
the bottom, just to change things up a bit. Mutton Snapper, Amberjack and even
some Grouper can be caught on both the shallow and deeper wrecks and artificial
As we venture away from the reef and head offshore, fishing
has been erratic to say the least. Dolphin (Mahi-mahi), a normal player in our
summertime fishing, has not been biting well. Some serious good luck has been
needed to find these fish this year. The boys we had on just a few weeks ago
had that serious good luck with them and caught a nice 23 pounder so it does
pay to get out there and give it a try.
As we head offshore further, we get to the Swordfish
grounds. The bite has been off for the last month or so, with mostly smaller
fish being caught when the bite comes. As with all fishing, you just never
Well, that’s it for August. Plenty of action and fish here
off Fort Lauderdale’s
shore. So, in the immortal words of Jimmy Buffet…
This is the time of year Florida folks long for… When a cold
front pushes through our area. The oppressive heat lowers as does the humidity
and we stop complaining about how hot it is and begin complaining how cold it
Being from Chicago, I call these “cool” fronts. As we relish
temps in the 60-70’s, we also dig out our jeans, sweaters, jackets and gloves.
Being a resident here for over 50 years now, I join those folks shivering on a
early morning in the low 60’s.
What does this have to do with a fishing report you ask?
Well, just as we change our clothes to endure, the fish must change their
location to stay comfy. They do this by migrating south and Fort Lauderdale
just happens to be right in a spot they pass by.
The Continental shelf lies just off our coast. With the Gulf
Stream being miles off our shore with its north current, the fish move inside
close to the coast to make their trip. And with each “cool” front that comes through,
the temperatures in the water dip a little cooler. Welcome to our version of
I-95 for fish!
Our catches change from mostly edible fish to game and sport
fish. Sailfish and sharks are the top catches with other species mixed in. Most
Mahi’s caught this time of year don’t have to be measured, they far exceed the
legal minimum. Tuna become more prolific and Wahoo are also around. They like
Tuna too. LOL
So at this time of year as you visit from somewhere up
north, don’t be surprised at the clothes we might be wearing as you show up for
your fishing trip with shorts and a T. There is a chance of filling the box
with just one fish! And that’s saying something… LOL
comes upon us, it is time to make some changes in our Fort Lauderdale fishing
techniques. Cooler weather and shorter days have most our summertime fishes
migrating south. While trolling is still used to some extent, we switch from
dragging dead, rigged baits to slow trolling live baits. Small bullet Bonitos
and Ballyhoo are my 2 favorites.
If the wind
is up and blowing hard enough to get the kites up? That’s an option I like
best! The kite supports the bait up on or near the surface. This causes the
bait to struggle to get deeper and those struggling sounds are picked up by all
types of fish. Sailfish, Dolphin and shark are the usual species, but any fish
can be attracted.
also gives you a great chance of “seeing” what’s biting before they strike. The
slashing of a Sailfish bill or the fin of a shark that has been attracted. The
head wake of a Dolphin or maybe just a splash of a King or Tuna. While your
crew is used to looking for these signs, even an untrained eye will pick up the
trolling has slowed to some degree. The number of fish we catch each trip is
declining. But the size of those fish is increasing. The Mahi of the summer are
now 15-20 lbs.
With a slow
bite, we turn to our wrecks and reefs, both shallow and deep. A live bait on
some light tackle can add to the fun. But our deep drops don’t get the light
tackle. The fish in the picture is the reason why.
Grouper would make quick work of a 20 or 30 lb. setup. He would have found his
way back into the rocks or structure. Now wouldn’t you hate to see that happen…
Lauderdale fishing. Get ready for some bigger game fish!
This is a GREAT time of year to be offshore of Fort
Lauderdale fishing. You just don’t know what will bite. With all the bait
migrating through the area and heading south down the coast, any species of
fish can be present and give you a bite. As a friend of mine says, this is
where opportunity meets preparedness!
Perhaps it is dinner you are after. Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna and
more can be caught close to shore. Kingfish and Bonitos are always around to
some degree and that Sailfish can make his presence known.
While many of the boats are starting to use live bait, I
still prefer trolling. You cover more ground and even a quarter of a mile can
make the difference between action and no action.
There is nothing more exciting than watching a Sailfish come
up and make a pass or swat at one of your baits. Or seeing a Dolphin come in
from 150 yards away, pulling a head wake, and charging one of your baits.
If the trolling isn’t producing, we shake things up with
some kite fishing. Sometimes live bait will entice a bite when the trolling
gear won’t. You can also hit the deep an shallow wrecks for some action on dead
or live bait.
While I mostly do the sport fishing end of things, even our
drift boat gets into the action. The picture above shows a Sail caught by one
of our regular customers on our drift fishing boat. He also caught a nice
Mutton Snapper that day.
No matter which type of fishing you choose, be it sport or
drift, it is a great time of year to be off the coast of Fort Lauderdale
It has always amazed me how much a few degrees of
temperature can make such a difference. Fort Lauderdale fall fishing is upon
us. To be out on the sea when it is 87 degrees is much more comfortable than
say… 95. LOL Let’s drop that humidity down too. That also makes a big change in
how things feel.
Our days are getting shorter and with that comes less time
for the sun to heat the ocean. The cooling waters start the migration of
baitfish, usually seen in schools of finger Mullet. And right on time, they
With schools of baitfish on the move to the south, all sorts
of fish species follow, the most popular is the Mahi-mahi. Generally found in
deeper waters, this time of year they come in close to the coast. With all that
bait traveling by it is a feast of bonanza proportion for them as well as us.
These are not the schooling fish we find in the summer. Those fish we have to
measure and throw back the little ones. These are the nice sized Dolphin that
can give quite the tussle.
With the sea temperatures dropping October also is a good
time of year for Wahoo. While we catch these year-round, October is known for
better than average catches. Again, these are sizable fish on the move
following their food source.
While we as crew are delighted with just these 2 species
being around I get to say… But wait! There’s more! LOL
Fort Lauderdale fall fishing also includes better than
average Sailfish action. We are generally trolling to catch fish and get ample
shots at sailfish in October and November. But it is also the time of year we
start back using live bait. That cooler water I spoke of makes it easier for
the fish to come to the surface. Whether on the troll or live baiting with
kites, both are an excellent and exciting way to catch Sails.
Cooler temperatures and catching fish, that’s what Fort
Lauderdale fall fishing has for you.
If you are fishing Fort Lauderdale, you will notice it
is not very crowded out on the ocean. This is our slow time of year business
wise. People are more concerned about getting back into the routine of the kids
back in school than a vacation in our little paradise down here.
I sometimes wonder if the fish know it is slow for
business. They seem to bite better when we are not out there. LOL They cannot
possibly know this, can they?
Decent sized Mahi, Tuna and soon, Wahoo, are around.
October is one of our best times of year for some nice sized Wahoo as well as
other species. But with few trips, we don’t get the chance to be out there
fishing for them.
Throughout the year, our guests come aboard and
exclaim what a great we, as in the crew, have. And it is true! We DO have great
jobs. After all, we get to go fishing each day. But this is the time of year
that we fix, repair and paint the boats so they are nice and pretty when you
come down for your vacation.
2 things are unfortunate about doing this type of work
in September and October. It is very hot and during some days it rains at least
once a day.
All in all, if you are not out there fishing right
now, you are missing some great fish. Things are going to improve in the next
few weeks as well so if your schedule allows it? Make the time. It is a great
time of year for fishing Fort Lauderdale.
August began sort of so-so but as you will see in this
Fort Lauderdale fishing report, things are heating up here off our coast.
The biggest change has been the fishing offshore of
Fort Lauderdale. Recent all-day trips have been very successful in both
Swordfish and Mahi-mahi.
Our most recent Swordfishing trip netted us 2 nice
bites. Both decent fish between 150-200 lbs. While we were able to see the
fish, we were not able to get either into the boat. Our guests were delighted
with the fight and the sights, but as you can imagine, Capt. Jimmy and crew
It’s always that last little bit that gives the most
trouble. With less line out, each time the fish moves, it has a more direct
impact on the hook and where it is set. This is true for most any type of fish
and NO fish is excited about their first boat ride… LOL
Our next all-day trip was strictly for Dolphin. Since
it was the same guest and with the heart break the day before, They decided to
make another day drop for a Sword. In their travels, they did find Dolphin and
ended up with a nice catch. This was repeated a few days later with Mahi’s
being found much closer to shore than the day before, only about 7-8 miles off
the coast. I guess a Swordfish Just wasn’t in the cards for this customer.
On the Reef
Closer to shore where our shorter 4- and 6-hour trips
fish, we are finding Bonitos and Kings biting well. Much better than in recent
weeks. The drift fishing boat has also been doing well in this area with
assorted snapper and other reef fish as well as a few Kings and Bonitos.
It’s all about fishing and catching something. And
having fun doing it. And we have been.