Family Fishing Fun

Posted on by Captain Steve

This time of year, once the kids get out of school, we get a lot of requests for some family fishing fun on the water water. It just so happens that when it comes to action? Summertime is the best!

Whether you are a resident hoping to escape the heat for a bit or someone from out of town. In either case, the fish are biting and giving the kids something to scream about… Excitement that is.

Bonitos, while prolific, are not very good to eat. I call them the survivor fish, from the show survivor. On day 28 you’ll still turn it down for food. Day 29? Ok, let’s give it a try… LOL

While not very tasty, they are fierce fighters. They can make for a great day of winding and bending the rod. There are times we must remove some of the ice in the fish box just to make room for the catch! And this is just one species!

At the top of the food chain comes the most popular Mahi-mahi, Dolphin, El Dorado, whatever you wish to call it. Usually found further from shore, they can run in schools and often if you find one, more are close by. This time of year, they are small, in some cases too small to keep. But there’s always a chance of a nice one and even the little guys are a blast to catch.

Back closer to the reef Kingfish will be found. The smaller the better for eating and eaten fresh is the best way. Some don’t care for Kings but I can tell you, they are fun to catch and they eat just fine.

So, whether your family is just 2 or like the crowd in the picture. Summertime IS the time for family fishing fun!

Capt. Steve

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Fanntastic Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

While I am primarily involved with the sport fishing, we also have a drift boat. This Fanntastic fishing report is about fighting a nice sized fish and hopefully, landing him on a drift boat.

On the drift boat there are at least 9 other people on board with you, many times more. No matter if you are at the front, the back or in the middle, when a nice fish strikes, that fish is going to head one direction or the other. They don’t just swim at you…

So there you are, the rod bends, the reel sings and the fish takes off. The guys that go often know what to do but do you? We want you to land your fish, it makes for happy customers.

First if you’re not standing, you should stand up. Keep your rod at about a 45-degree angle toward the sky and begin reeling. Keep that rod bent!

If the fish begins to go toward other people’s line, you have to start moving that direction. Depending on whether your line goes under or over the guy next to you, you have to adjust. If the line goes over the next line, that angler should move to the rail so you can go over. If your line goes under the next, the angler next to you should move back so you can go under his line, the entire time, keeping the line tight.

There is nothing that can completely eliminate tangles, but you want to keep them to a minimum. And if you do? You might just end up with that nice fish, like the guys in the picture. And we sure do like when you do land a nice fish!

Capt. Steve

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Hammerhead Shark Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

shark fish

Our trip today wasn’t really a Hammerhead Shark fishing trip. John and the rest of the group from Delta showed up in a great mood with some beers and were ready to catch fish, ANY fish. When people come on board talking and laughing you can just tell it’s going to be a good day.

While our customers were having a ball, Donnie and I were pulling our hair out. Weed was scattered and abundant. Constant attention to the baits and deep lines was required to keep them clear. The first 30 minutes we hadn’t had a bite.

Finally one of the deep baits was bit and we landed a decent Kingfish. Everyone had fun urging the angler on including making fun of him because it was taking so long. It was the furthest bait out from the boat. Cheers and high 5’s all around, you’d have thought we just won a major tournament or something. LOL

As we moved south the weed improved and so did the bite. We ended up catching 6 nice Kingfish with everyone getting a chance on the rod and reel.

We had options of some other things to do but John wanted to try for something big. It took about 10 minutes to switch over to big baits and then deploy them. Only we didn’t get very far.

The top bait was set and the mid bait was almost to depth when something ripped the line out of Donnie’s hand. The fish let go but came back a few more times until he finally ate it and we hooked him!

Hooting and hollering ensued to the point John could barely hear me or Don. And after about 30 minutes we got a glimpse of a large sea creature. A Hammerhead shark had eaten our bait and was now becoming fussy as he neared the boat.

The fish was boat, measure and released in good form. All hammerheads are protected here in Florida and this one will be bigger the next time he is hooked.

While we weren’t entirely Hammerhead shark fishing, apparently, we were there at the end. LOL

Congrats John.

Capt. Steve

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Drift Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Here in Fort Lauderdale there are 2 kinds of fishing trips offered, sport fishing and drift fishing. While sport fishing, or big game fishing is extremely popular, drift fishing is the most economical way to get out on the ocean with a rod in your hand.

Drift fishing is a very “hands on” type fishing. You are the one putting your bait in the water. You hold the rod. You move the bait and when a fish strikes, you set the hook. Then you reel your fish in if you were successful in the previous steps.

As you can see from the picture above, our folks today did a great job of landing fish. Kingfish, Tuna, Bonito were caught today. Also landed were some snappers, a mixed bag of Lane, Vermilion and Mutton. With all these fish that were caught, some were missed as well. As you can see, drift fishing was quite productive.

Depending on conditions will determine if you fish shallow or deep. Shallow water can be for strong winds or rapid current while lighter conditions might have you fishing deeper. Here in Fort Lauderdale, only ½ mile more or less from shore can make the difference between fishing in 40’ of water to over 300’.

If you are looking to get out on the water and “wet a line”, consider our drift fishing trip. It can be very productive.

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Mahi-Mahi

Posted on by Captain Steve

Group fishing using Lois Ann

A few days ago I mentioned that our conditions were perfect for catching Mahi-mahi. Well, the Fort Lauderdale Mahi-mahi bite is going off!

A recent bachelor party were aboard our drift boat with Capt. Jimmy. After catching a few kings in by the reef, they moved off shore to find greener pastures.

Seaweed was abundant and in some places, so thick, fishing was nearly impossible. Keeping the baits clear was a task that needed constant attention.

Once they got out around 600’, the weed cleared some and they found their first Mahi. A nice one too, about 15 lbs..

They continued on the troll for a while and again found another, then another. Picking at the fish off this weed line was becoming fun and the group was quite happy with the action they were having. While the weed became more abundant once again, a turn off shore gave them even more opportunity.

The picture above are the fish the guys could hold… There were more in the box. And while I can’t say how long the Fort Lauderdale Mahi-mahi bite will last, I know it’s going on right now. With conditions and weather forecast of much the same this week, I’ll be looking for them on the rip.

Capt. Steve

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Fishing Forecast

Posted on by Captain Steve

With winds from the east this Holiday weekend, my fishing forecast if for Mahi- mahi or Dolphin, if you prefer.

I had to look up Mahi-mahi to see where it came from in the Hawaiian language. Mahi means strong, Mahi-mahi means very strong. Who knew? I didn’t

When the winds blow from the east this time of year, the flotsam and seaweed get blown toward shore. It’s these kind of things we look for when hunting Dolphin. Anything floating on the surface gives shade and cover to small bait fish and even schoolie Dolphin. And with winds forecast for the next three days, all this will be coming toward shore.

Mahi’s strike with force, no matter their size. Many times you can see them streaking toward your bait. Sometimes on the surface pulling a head wake, sometimes jumping as they approach. When they bite, they almost always jump, the first place that these fish are easily lost. You can’t get caught up in the moment, you must remain tight with the fish.

The second quick loss place is by the boat. Yes, they are tired but remember their name. You might think they are whipped but they will surprise you and give a few more jumps trying to elude capture.

Once you do have the fish in the boat, keep him there. Small fish boxes on the transom or even on deck, these fish can leap from the boat back into the water and be gone. Talk about a heart breaker…

So this fishing forecast for the next few days is looking for Mahi-mahi. Unfortunately, everyone else will be looking too. LOL

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Shark Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Hammerhead shark

Lately Fort Lauderdale shark fishing has been very productive. It’s a bit late but the mating season is still going on and our area is a breeding ground for many species of sharks.

Sandbar sharks, often mistaken for Bull sharks, are quite prevalent right now. Found in shallow water, usually around wrecks, they are quite ready for an easy meal as we present it. While fishing for these, we often put out a bottom rod for snapper and grouper if they are around.

Other species are here as well. Tiger, Bull and some rare Hammerhead sharks are also making appearances. A Hammerhead it what is pictured above. These fish give quite the fight! With that big flat wing on their head, all they need to do is get their head down and kick with their tail a few times. Their power just peels the line off the reel.

Even the species of Hammerhead has a few varieties. The Scalloped, Smoothskin and Great Hammerheads are being seen. The4se fish are usually caught in deeper water but can be found anywhere at any time.

So if you’re looking to catch a BIG fish, Fort Lauderdale shark fishing is filling that bill. Hope to see you soon.

Capt. Steve

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Go Fish Fort Lauderdale

Posted on by Captain Steve

The time is right to go fish Fort Lauderdale. Our weather has been perfect. Light winds, calm seas and sunny skies… Just what Fort Lauderdale is known for.

And the fishing has been great! Plenty of action just a few miles from shore. Kings and Bonito are abundant. Blackfin Tuna and the occasional Dolphin bless our lines. Even Sailfish are being seen and caught as we troll the reef areas and just a bit outside that.

Each year I see the trend change a bit. What should be here thick as thieves isn’t always the case. But with one species not making an appearance, another does. And let’s not forget that there is always that chance for a lost Swordfish or Marlin in close to shore.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the smile of a newbie catching their first fish. Size, species, color and everything else goes right out the window as they land and sometimes hold that prize.

The young lady in the picture was not squeamish about holding her catch. The “ewww” factor went right out the window as she posed with her prize. This is the one thing I hope never changes.

The time is right… Go fish Fort Lauderdale… You won’t be disappointed.

Capt. Steve

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Good Fishing Action

Posted on by Captain Steve

Today our group wanted action… Good fishing action. While they would love to catch some Mahi, they all knew fishing doesn’t always give you what you want. So something to bend the rod was the request for their trip. And the fish gods were kind to these folks.

We began just outside the port. The mate and I were starting to worry, we’d missed the first few bites and other boats were catching. We finally managed to hold onto a fish and get him into the boat. Bonito! And the crowd cheered… LOL

As we continued, apparently, we just needed that one to begin catching and as we did our best to avoid the seaweed that seemed to be everywhere, we ended with a nice catch of Kings and Bonitos. Our only Tuna bite escaped a few feet from the boat.

Since we had provided some action for our group, we decided to venture out a bit and see if any Mahi’s were around. I had heard nothing on the radio as far as Dolphin but love fishing the deeper waters… You just never know what might appear.

Again weed played a part in out fishing. Some areas were almost impossible to keep the baits clear. After finally find some clear water with big patches, we got our first bite. A Mahi was jumping, though be it small, it felt like a moral victory and turned out to be a keeper.

Our next fish was returned coming up short on the requirement and we went for quite some time before our next bite. With only minutes left in our trip we managed a few more fish for the box.

Good fishing action makes for some happy campers seen here.

Capt. Steve

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Fishing With Large Groups

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing with a large group like Corporate outings, bachelor parties and family outings, just to name a few, any group over 6 is a large group. You have two options, either charter enough 6 passenger boats for your group or put your entire group on one boat. We can do either and today’s group opted for 6 boats to accommodate everyone.

Today’s forecast was for 50% rain… It drizzled for about 5 minutes. But it didn’t dampen the groups spirit or their fishing.

You see, fish kind of like overcast skies. They can swim up near and on the surface of the water without casting a shadow. Today was no different, all the boats did well in the reef area with Kingfish, Bonito and Tuna. Bonito and Tuna are in the same family and occasionally school together.

Along with the bounty of fish providing plenty of action, a Sailfish decided to join the fray on our boat. Having a line come down, screaming line off and then seeing this large fish jumping behind the boat still thrills me, even after all these years.

A 20-minute battle is the norm and boating the fish has to be done carefully. We prefer to release these fish so we take care in handling them. A hose with running saltwater on board helps them breath as we take measurements and pictures. And, of course, that last picture before the fish is placed back in the water for release.

Sometimes we must coach them along, holding beside the boat helping them rest while they breath in the water for oxygen. Others you can barely get them back in the water before they bolt. It is an awesome feeling watching your fish swim away, if he gives you the chance.

Whether you want everyone on the same boat or multiple boats to cover your group, fishing with large groups is best back at the dock. Bragging rights and all.

Capt. Steve

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