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Fort Lauderdale Family Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Family Fishing

Fort Lauderdale Family Fishing

Getting the kids out fishing before school starts has been popular as of late. Fort Lauderdale family fishing has been booming! Whether it is a last vacation before going home or the locals here, kids seem to be on most our trips lately.


Luckily for us, kids are easy to please and the action has been good. The reef area has been plentiful with Bonitos, a hard fighting fish not very good to eat but certainly fun to catch. Kingfish have also been adding to the filling of the box, as have Barracudas. Most of the Barracudas are small but still impressive with their almost canine looking teeth. The bigger ones make very impressive trophies.


Out trip yesterday consisted of Alex, the dad, his son and daughter and their kids. 3 little guys with so much energy, ages 3 to 5. The morning seas had a slight chop to them so for this afternoon trip, we opted to catch some small fish for our small guys. A trip to an inside marker with some chum and bait rods did the trick and the boys caught 20 or so fish in a matter of 40 minutes.


The seas had relaxed some and never affected the kids. We did some big game fishing, striking out in 2 spots with the “big ones” but caught a handful of nice sized snappers.


Another family outing was the day before with Adam and Angie from Texas. Their 3 kids rounded out our trip and we had a ball with what the fish gods offered. I was surprised when “dad” jumped in the chair first and caught a very small Bonito. Everybody knows, women and kids first… LOL


None the less, it was great catching fish with these guys. My favorite angler of the group turned out to be mom. The great thing about women anglers is they listen. Being multi-taskers, they can also wind and listen to instructions without stopping, most men stop to hear, Just an observation on my part. Angie had so much fun winding in fish, she’d be laughing as she wound her fish in. We again struck out with something big but it didn’t matter. As you can see from the picture, they all had a great time.

So whether you are from here or abroad, your Fort Lauderdale family fishing trip is waiting. But if you don’t hurry, you’ll have to wait for Christmas break.


Thanks for reading.

Captain Steve

Posted in Kids Fishing, Sport

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Full Day Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Ryan in fishing

Ryan 1I’d like to introduce you to young Ryan shown standing here holding a couple of the fish he caught today. He was our solo guest on an full day fishing trip. His family became ill the night before and decided not to join him. I call him young because he is beginning his senior year in high school.


When Ryan showed up at the dock with his backpack and light tackle spinning rod, I assumed there were more coming and they were just running late. At just 2 minutes before the bridge was to go up, he explained to me it was just him and we were off.


It doesn’t matter on any of our trips how many people are there, we always fish as if there were 6 aboard and we sure weren’t going change that for Ryan. Our first stop was to catch some bait at the sea buoy and put that rod he brought to use. The baitfish weren’t biting well and it does take a little to get used to it but in the end we had plenty of bait for our trip and trolling to the north was our next plan.


As our all-day fishing trip progressed, I found Ryan to be beyond his 17 years. He was extremely interested in what we did and how we did it. He spent most his time with Adam on deck and each bite brought a thrill as he reeled the fish in. At one point we had rods stacked up waiting for him to finish bringing in a fish so we could hand him another. And as the day went on, we changed our plan and decided to go for BIG!


The trolling gear came in and the big rods and baits went out. As it can be in fishing, you have to wait for that bite. The way we fish for big fish can sometimes take a while, the scent of the bait being carried by the current. The fish pick up this scent and follow it to us and with luck, we connect.


We’d been at it a while and the sky grew grey. Heavy clouds and wind were coming; a massive thunderstorm south of us was making things tough. That’s when the bite came and a big bite it was too. And this was when things got fun!


One angler, one mate and one captain, three rods out, one with a fish and the other two in the way. Adam got Ryan set up and the rod strapped in and began clearing lines as Ryan began his battle. The threatening skies never got us wet and the winds reduced as Ryan worked the fish closer toward the boat. There’s always a little give and take, when the fish gives, you take and as much as you can. When the fish takes, you rest and let the straps hold the rod. You must always be ready to reel though; a fish can change directions in a micro-second.


Finally, after 30 minutes or so, we could see color down deep and the fish kept inching closer. A large Hammerhead shark had eaten our bait and was growing tired, as was Ryan. He never complained, never faltered and his excitement was easily seen as he saw what he had landed.

Ryan 2

Pictures were taken and the measuring done for this trophy sized fish before it was released into the sea with the tag in place. These tags allow the Taxidermist to communicate with the anglers this fish’s location the next time it is caught, a very cool program.


We headed home catching a few fish along the way and I have to say I very much enjoyed my full day fishing trip with young Ryan. I even found out what Pokemon go is. LOL He doesn’t play but explained it to me, usually my daughter’s job.


Captain Steve

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Kids Make Happy Customers

Posted on by Captain Steve

Happy Kids

Happy KidsEach time I take a family with kids, or maybe a birthday party for a kid, I know we’re going to have a good trip. The reason is kids don’t care what you catch or how big it is. They aren’t concerned with whether you can eat it or not. From the smallest Bonito and Blue Runner to micro Dolphin, they are excited each time the rod bends and the reel sings. The more, the merrier.


Summertime is perfect for those family outings and parties. Close to shore all kinds of fish are in good numbers. Bonito, Kingfish, Barracuda (always a favorite), Wahoo and Tuna can all be found in close to shore right now. Trolling for these fish not only produces the most hits but also creates a breeze. With temperatures in the low 90’s almost every day, that breeze is welcome, believe me. And that is what is going on right now here in Fort Lauderdale just off the shore.


Summertime is also a great time of year for an evening Swordfish Trip. Light winds and cooler temperatures at night make for comfortable settings as we head off shore 12 to 14 miles to the Swordfish grounds. There is always some fishing on the way out before setting our big lines and the chance at Dolphin, though Dolphin fishing hasn’t been great these last few days, widely scattered and on the small size, too small to keep at times. The 8 hour trip is a bit long for the kids unless they are really into fishing.


The photo attached is from a recent afternoon trip and we all had a ball. But it is back at the dock where everyone is smiling that makes me the happiest. Proud of their recent catch and not afraid to touch or hold their fish. Well, sometimes it’s a little yucky… But not with this group. LOL


Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Busy day of fishing

Our Fort Lauderdale fishing report has some good news this week. Fishing for Dolphin has been poor, not only off Fort Lauderdale, but Miami and the Florida Keys. This has changed in just the last few days. Our all day fishing trip yesterday was just for Dolphin, it’s what they wanted. Our fishing trip took us quite a ways off shore but we did catch them! There was scattered weed and debris, a good sign in catching fish. Birds were also aiding us in finding our prey and were the major contributor. We probably caught close to 30 Dolphin; the downside was only 8 were keepers. The rest were too small to keep. Still, they kept us busy on and off all day.

6 hour

Back closer to shore, fishing for Kingfish and Bonito in the reef area has been good. Even 4 hour trips have been having great success. The Bonitos have been biting best first thing in the morning and the later afternoon. Kings have been scattered but nice size, small to medium weights.


And just outside in slightly deeper water, Blackfin Tuna have also been helping with our quest. Most are on the small size but some really nice ones have also been caught, up to about 25-30 lbs. We even find them mixed in with the Bonitos on the reef.


With all this action and the migration of these fish, fishing for something big like a shark has also been good. We don’t always get the bite but its unusual not to. The occasional Amberjack and Grouper are also attracted to the big baits. Bites from migrating Sailfish are also in the mix. It’s always nice to catch one of these on the troll. Though it’s not really their time of year, we catch them, or can, year round. It is a nice surprise when it happens.


Two things slightly off topic for this Fort Lauderdale fishing report…


The first is our Facebook Page. If you are a Facebook fan, stop by Fanntastic Fishing and check out our page. You just can’t have enough likes.



Secondly, allow a proud father to gloat just a bit and send my congratulations to the Hatterascal Fishing team. My son is the 1st mate on the boat and their tournament record breaking Yellowfin Tuna won the Tuna division in the Blue Marlin Grand Challenge in Orange Beach, Alabama. Congrats to angler and crew!


Well, that’s it for this Fort Lauderdale fishing report. The picture shown is a recent trip on the reef. These guys were quite delighted.


Captain Steve

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Best Time To Fish

Posted on by Captain Steve

Happy Fisherman


I am always being asked when is the best time to fish, meaning when will we catch the most? Is the best time morning or afternoon? And a general rule of thumb is the early morning or late afternoon. When the sun is low in the sky, the shadows from feeding fish do not alert other predators to their presence and they feel more at ease. The surface of the water is also cooler at these times. Fish being cold blooded, feel the temperature differences quite easily.


So when is the best time to fish? When you can. There’s no two ways about it, you can’t always be out at the crack of dawn or at sunset. Our trips are scheduled so we get a little of each of these times on the morning and afternoon trips. I’ve heard some people like to sleep in, especially when on vacation. Other people, like me, are early risers and looking for things to do in those early morning hours.


And for this report I’m taking about Michael, Mike and Megan, 3 folks that had an afternoon 6 hour. And we had a ball! It was convenient for them to be out in the afternoon and though the best time to fish wasn’t needed, it became the right time.


I’d fished the morning trip and we’d caught a few fish, mostly Bonitos and a Tuna. Small, and I mean small, Barracuda’s have also been around and tearing the baits up. While the action was OK that morning, the afternoon proved to be tops that day.


Trolling started out slow, a Bonito was caught by Mike and then a bit of a lull as we worked our way south. With 6 hours, we had time to roam and a fairly swift current to the north made south the logical choice.


We’d caught a few fish when 3 lines went off at once. With everyone reeling, lots of moving rods to keep things untangled. Blackfin Tuna had attacked our baits, not huge ones, but nice enough in the 4 to 6 lbs. range. They fight hard and are delicious! We managed 2 out of the 3 for our box.


As time went on we picked at fish. Tuna, Bonito and a few Kings were caught. Michael seemed to be the videographer while Megan and Mike did most the reeling. And in the end, we had 7 or 8 nice Tuna, 3 Kings, some Bonitos and a few of those little Barracudas. And it was time to switch tactics and try for something big… Megan wanted to catch a shark!


Now we always like to try for a big fish and our success rate is good but today was not to be our day. It’s not to say we didn’t have a shot… We did, 2 to be exact. And fishing comes down to preparation meeting opportunity with a bit of luck added. I’m afraid our luck was bad…


Our first strike, which took almost an hour to get, was a bottom bite that bent the rod over good. We pulled ahead on the fish only to have some line ripped from the reel and then go slack. We waited to see if he would return but soon ended up retrieving the line only to find we had been plucked. No bait remained on the hooks and let me tell you, this hasn’t happened to me more than 2 or 3 times in my entire career. I mean not a single strand of skin or fish was left. Nada, nothing, zero and zilch.


As we re-rigged our bottom bait a strike came on the top bait. This was a zing pow hit, the zing being the ripping of line off the reel and the pow being when the line parted. It is seldom we have a main line part, we are meticulous about the care of our rods and gear. But it can happen and today, it did.


Now missing one big bite is bad enough but two big bites? That’s just some seriously lousy luck. But the fish gods weren’t done with us yet, they were about to rub some salt in our already smarting wounds of disappointment. As we were bringing in the lines to go home? Megan noticed a fin break the surface off to the side of the boat. Her shout brought our eyes around and there, tailing north, was another shark, just swimming by. We tried to get a bait in front of the fish but he showed no interest. In this business, we call that being given the fin…


So, when is the best time to fish? When you can spend some quality time out on the water with friends or family? That IS the best time to fish. And let the fish take care of the rest.


Good luck and tight lines.


Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized


Fanntastic’s Drift Fishing Boat

Posted on by Captain Steve

Drift Fishing Boat

Drift Fishing BoatAt Fanntastic Fishing we are happy to offer our NEW drift fishing boat, the Lois Ann. Drift fishing is an inexpensive way to get out on the water for one of our 4 hour trips. You can relax and maybe even catch some fish! That is, if you have the patience and touch.


I started on drift fishing boats years ago and while some things have changed, others have not. The boat is guided by the breezes and currents. Each person has their own rod, reel and is baited up and ready. The captain and mate will tell the group how many arm lengths of line to put out, and if all follow directions, those baits look like a school of fish.

Drift Fishing 3

Our drift boat needs a minimum of 10 people to sail and can carry 60, though we often limit it to less. You stand at the rail or sit on the bench and hold your rod the entire time while the bait is in the water. And… You have to hook them to cook them to be successful at this.


All in all it’s a great way to spend a few hours and hopefully bring home some dinner. Our catches can include a variety of Snappers and Groupers, Kingfish, Bonito, Tuna, Dolphin, Triggerfish and others. Some are on the small size like Vermillion Snappers. Others can be quite large like the Amberjacks.

Drift Fishing 4

The conditions each day somewhat determine where and how we will fish. Strong winds or fast currents make bottom fishing tough so we opt for true drift fishing as it was back in my day. A lack of wind will have you fishing bottom because the drift is so slow.


Our evening trip is usually an anchor trip with chum for mainly Snapper. We may have to move once or twice if the sharks show up.

Drift Fishing 2

Drift fishing can be lots of fun. We provide everything you need to fish including licenses and permits. Your catch will be marked and cleaned back at the dock. Feel free to bring your own food and beverages for the trip. We have a large cooler for you or a small personal cooler is allowed. Please, no glass bottles. Alcohol is permitted but no hard liquor.


We hope to see you soon on our new drift boat, the Lois Ann


Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Good

Posted on by Captain Steve

Texas fishing

The this week has been pretty good in Fort Lauderdale fishing. We’ve had some great weather, that is if you like soft breezes, calm seas and sunny skies. And while I personally would like to see some improvement with the Dolphin fishing, on other fronts our guests are quite happy.


We had Wendy and the boys the other day and they were quite happy with what we’d caught on the reef area. Bonitos, Kingfish and some small Blackfin Tuna have been making things fun. Our attempt at catching “The BIG one” failed which disappointed me but not the group. Hey, if you don’t try? You’ll never know…


And then there was Mark, just 1 man for an afternoon trip. Now, you might think only catching 2 fish on a 4 hour trip isn’t very good. But when you fight the first one for 30 minutes and the second for over an hour? That can take up some of your fishing time! Mark was quite pleased with both his battles.


A video has been posted on our Facebook page of a Spinner shark we caught yesterday as well as a picture here. This fight also took up some of our time but was well worth it for Eduardo and his family. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it at Facebook under Fanntastic Fishing. We will also be starting an Instagram page, as soon as I figure out how to use it. LOL Maybe my daughter can help with that.


The off shore scene has been more miss than hit with Dolphin. This time of year used to be our BEST fishing for Dolphin. When we have found them, many have been too small to keep. But again, if you don’t try… everything changes and at any time. Further out the Swordfish bite has been pretty good. I have to rely on feedback from others on that note, we haven’t been out fishing for Swords now in a few weeks.


Well, that’s it for our Fort Lauderdale fishing this week. For a more up to date report, just drop us a line or give me a call.


Captain Steve

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Summertime Deep Sea Catch

Posted on by Captain Steve

Catch Tuna fish

TunaJuly is just around the corner and as always our temperatures are heating up. But so is the fishing, that is, if you are interested in quantity and not size.Not to say there aren’t some sizable fish to be caught in the deep sea, there are. But this time of year our method to catching fish is mostly trolling dead bait, lures or a combination of both. Covering the area looking for schools of Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish with a few Sailfish mixed in.


This week has been a mixed bag as far as what we’ve been catching. Bonitos are plentiful most days with a few nice sized Tunas mixed in. It’s the early morning or late afternoon bite that has been best. This is almost steadfast in fishing no matter where you are. The sun being directly overhead tends to drive the fish deeper and our deep baits are what produce most between 10 am and 3 pm each day.


Only a few Kingfish are being caught right now but Dolphin are making sporadic appearances with our easterly winds. This time of year the Dolphin are small, some too small to keep. But they are still fun to catch and release and the big ones can be just around the corner.


This week I chose my biggest guy on a shared charter with our smallest fish of that trip, a Blackfin Tuna. You can see the crowd he attracted from his catch. We already had some Bonitos and a few Kings in the box. We added some Tuna to this one and all were bigger. But don’t let the size fool you. These are sushi grade Tuna and delicious! We often cut one up on board and serve with Soy and Wasabi. Not like what you get in the can, not at all.


Captain Steve

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Have fun on your trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Shark fight

Shark fightI have been writing fishing reports for the Fort Lauderdale area for years now. There are times when the fishing is great and there are those when the fishing isn’t so hot. I’m always trying to keep things upbeat and positive because if you fish? A positive attitude is important.


This week I had two specific trips I will talk about. Neither one had spectacular fishing by my standards but one trip was quite pleased and the other very disappointed. And just what is it that makes a fishing trip great? You might think the fish you catch but that’s only part of it. It is also an attitude of why you are going fishing.


Each day we greet new people at our boats and hope to make their day special. Some people are easy to please and some are not. LOL Some have expectations that aren’t realistic and I happen to be one of those people. I expect to catch great fish each day. But we all know you can’t win every battle and certainly cannot catch a great fish for every customer. Boy, wouldn’t that be great? For me it would.


So now we come to the fishing lately. Seas have been calm, light winds from the west and some pretty good thunderstorms popping up in the afternoons, our normal weather pattern. And this will continue for quite some time which means our top baits don’t get the attention our deeper baits do. Kingfish, Bonito, Tuna have been preferring the deeper baits lately and with some nice sized Tuna mixed in with the small. Those west winds I spoke of blow the debris and weed off shore and the Dolphin fishing has been less than stellar.


So now we start our trips, always searching for fish. Schools of smaller fish can lead to bigger bites. Wahoo, Sailfish and other predators like to be around small Tuna and your chance of catching something cool beneath the school is high. I realize they aren’t big but small fish can lead you to bigger. And that is ALWAYS our goal. To catch fish!


Does it work out every time? I’m afraid it doesn’t. But if you’re catching fish on your fishing trip? It is certainly a start…


I also had an all day trip this week. Four guys showed up with beer, booze, snacks and sandwiches. They had been with us before in less than great conditions. Rougher seas, nasty winds and so on. These guys were thrilled with each fish reeled in. They caught a few Kings, some Tuna, a few Bonitos and a large shark. It was really kind of funny as it was hot that day so they spent most their time in the A/C of the cabin, only to exit when Freddy would call them out for a bite. Then the phones came out to take pictures and the trash talk started.


Both these trips caught fish. The one trip was delighted with their day and I truly believe that had they caught nothing it wouldn’t have dampened their spirits. They were out to have a good time and were bound to do it no matter what. The other trip left disappointed and unhappy because they didn’t catch their big fish.


So the pictures for this report are of the happy group. The first is doing battle with the shark and the second is of the group at the dock. Did the big shark they caught make a difference in the fun they were having? Absolutely not! And after catching that big fish, they mentioned that there was no need to do THAT again. LOL


Fishing is fun, no matter what you catch. We hope when you do come fishing with us, you come to have some fun and catch some fish. Because that is what we are trying to do each and every day.


Let’s have some fun… Fishing off Fort Lauderdale.


Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Is Great

Posted on by Captain Steve


Fishing in the Fort Lauderdale area doesn’t always provide us with a great catch. But today it was GREAT!

I’d like to introduce you to Sebastian. He and his family came out with us this morning for a 4 hour trip. Sebastian, as many of our guests, had never really done any kind of fishing, certainly not this kind. And one great thing about newcomers is they have no bad habits to break.

Sitting in the big chair, he was handed the first bite, a small Bonito. It had bitten a top bait and he was taught how to work the rod and reel, he picked it up quickly. You don’t wind when you lift the rod and you don’t jerk the rod up either. He listened to Adam’s instructions and did a super job with his first fish.


Next came a deep bite on one of the planer rods and dad was up. Another Bonito and those planer rods are not worked as the top bait rods. It’s important not to lift and then wind for a moment of not winding or too quick a drop can reset the planer and now you’re fighting that rather than the fish.

A double hit had both his sister and Sebastian reeling and things were going along so well. In just a little over an hour we had caught everyone a few fish including some nice Kingfish. One was too small and had to be released but the others were kept.

Being in the right place at the right time for fishing is pure luck and while dad was reeling in another fish, the high line went off and I mean OFF! Line was screaming off the reel, Adam was busy with dad’s fish, sis had just caught something and mom wasn’t feeling too hot. By the time I got the high line down to Adam, over half the spool of line was off the reel. And Sebastian was smiling…

We had no idea what had hit. A Sailfish? Maybe… Some big Tuna had also been around… No jumping going on so probably not a Sail. We were finally able to stop the fish and Sebastian began retrieving some of the lost line as best he could. And we ALL were excited to see what we had on. This fish was angry and kept peeling line off for short bursts but Sebastian kept grinding away until finally, after about 25 minutes, we got a glimpse of the fish. Long, slender and silvery in color as he flashed below the boat… It was a big Kingfish, certainly the biggest I have seen in a while. Some dancing around below us trying to evade Adam’s gaff and this is usually when you lose the big ones, becoming anxious for it to be done. But not Sebastian, he stayed steady and cool, probably because he was exhausted.

We don’t mess with big Kings on the boat, their teeth are small but extremely sharp and it’s best they go straight into the box. This picture taken at the dock tells the end of this story. This tough little angler had a hard time holding the fish up and let it rest on the ground for the picture. You can see the rest of the catch lying behind him.

When you are this big and you catch a fish that big? Fort Lauderdale fishing is great!

Captain Steve

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