Family Fishing Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale fishing

With Christmas just a few days away the Holiday rush is nearly upon us. The week between Christmas and New Year is full of families visiting Fort Lauderdale and family fishing trips are most of what we do. The last few days have been just that, 2 days, 2 families and 2 very different results.

Fishing reports are supposed to let you what’s going on, the trends, but this report will show what actually happens from day to day.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday morning trips were family fishing trips. Both trips left at the same time, returned at the same time and were virtually fishing the same way in a close proximity of each other. Our first group, which is pictured, had a ball on their trip catching fish. Kingfish and Blackfin Tune were abundant. We actually had trouble getting our full spread of trolling baits out without catching or missing a fish and this went on for about an hour. We simply could not get all our rods and lines in the water without having to stop to retrieve a fish or re-rig from missing one. While live baiting on this trip slowed the action, a few more nice sized Kings and missing a Sailfish was included. Rich and his family had a ball.

With such success the day before our method didn’t change. Jeffery and his 3 boys were on time and ready. Our efforts proved almost fruitless. Other than baitfish, we just couldn’t seem to get a bite. Well, we did have 2 bites… One was an UFO… unknown fishy object. We never saw the fish and pulled the hooks about 40’ from the boat. We also had a large Silky shark eat most of a bait but managed not to eat the hooks, frustrating to say the least. However, Jeffery and the boys still had a great time. We did manage a nice Barracuda at the end of the trip but it was our only boated fish.

Both days were calm seas and semi sunny skies. On a humorous note, Jeffery brought his own “tilt alarm”. Now, there is no such thing as a tilt alarm for when the boat rocks and there were some swells that second day. Jeffery’s youngest Will was not happy about the rocking and went off each time the boat rocked. The minor moral victory was had when Will, who wanted to go in at first, was disappointed that our time was up and made dad promise to do this again.

It’s not always about what you catch, family fishing trips are about family time and having fun. Something we try and do each and every trip. Sometimes it’s about the ones you miss or that get away. That’s where fishing stories come from.

Captain Steve

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Big Fish Story

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

In our picture today you see Landing holding his BIG fish. This youngster came on board with his dad, Jake and Danni and ALL he wanted to do was catch a BIG fish. With kids, excitement is always abundant and while this might not be the biggest fish he will ever catch, to this point in his life, this one takes the cake. This Greater Amberjack put up quite a fight and took almost 30 minutes for Landing to land.

 

But there’s more to this story than just this fish. I believe I have found part of the reason fishermen lie… It’s quite innocent in the beginning if you will indulge me…

 

I grew up in the Chicago area. As a youngster I remember trudging through snow that was waist deep, much as some of you reading this are doing right now. The thing is, as I grew and got taller, the snow never seemed quite as deep as it did just a few years earlier. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that it wasn’t the snow that was less deep, it was me getting taller.

 

The same can be said about our young angler here. He had trouble holding this fish by himself so Freddie was happy to help. Besides, he was quite spent from his battle. He also had to stretch his arms almost completely to see just how long it was.

 

Now we all know that as we grow, so do our body parts and what once was an accurate measurement will now be exaggerated in years to come. And so it begins, a simple form of measurement becomes our introduction to increasing size and weight of our catches! And we end up with our BIG fish story!

 

OK, maybe that’s not how it starts. After all, you can’t lie about size when it hangs on your wall. Only the ones that get away get that privilege.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Fanntastic Fishing.

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingWhat should be in a Fort Lauderdale fishing report? Should it be about the people and trips we’ve run recently? Perhaps the current trends of our fishing? At times, I even try to predict what to expect if and when you come fishing with us. That’s like trying to predict the weather without all the equipment they have to help them. LOL

 

Well, right now Fort Lauderdale is experiencing some great weather and some very good fishing. With our daytime highs in the very low 80’s and abundant sunshine, that alone is what you want for any visit here. And should you take advantage of our ocean, you’ll be pleasantly surprised in what we are catching.

 

As expected, Dolphin have been being caught. On shore winds have brought these fish in closer to shore and they are enjoying he feast of Ballyhoo and Flying fish for bait. Most have been smaller fish with a few “gaffers”. But it is always nice to have them around and we hope for more to come.

 

While we are still doing some trolling, most fish are being taken on live bait. On days when the winds are blowing, kite fishing has had excellent results. Sailfish are the intended target but Dolphin and Kingfish have also been joining in. A few sharks as well have shown up. Just a few days ago, we caught the smallest Bull shark I’ve ever seen at about 4’. Quite a feat on the light tackle we were using.

 

The Sailfish have been spread out in the depths. The best range recently has been between 100 and 200’ of water but we had one on inside the reef yesterday and a few have been caught outside 400’ of water.

 

The picture we have today has Captain Adam on the left. When he is not working the drift boat he is my deck tech and an excellent one at that. And when you can get 6 people behind one Sailfish? You know it’s a big one! We had 5 shots at Sails that day and only caught this one. It is not always game, set, match when they bite.

 

Great weather and very good fishing is what this Fort Lauderdale fishing report is about. I, for one, hope both continue.

 

Captain Steve

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The Bite Is On

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingWith our first cold front plunging temperatures into the mid 70’s… I know, not much of a cold front unless 90’s have been your norm… we have had some great fishing! Cooler sea temps have giving us better action on the surface baits and with that? Live bait and flying fishing kites has become the best fishing technique to produce bites. Sailfish, Dolphin, small sharks and Kings have all been attracted to the surface to eat. And as we get further into our cooler months, this will improve.

 

Kite fishing has been around for a long time. The idea behind it is live or dead bait supported on or near the surface. When fish feed, they chase baits up through the depths to the surface where it is easier to catch. The kite takes care of step one. It is also nice to “see” the bite. Many times you can see what’s been attracted and lately, that has been Sailfish.

 

Sailfish is one of the most fun fish we catch for sport. They are strong, acrobatic and absolutely phenomenal in their ability to elude capture. They don’t know we intend to release them, their edibility is poor. Being the Florida State fish, a sport fish and somewhat endangered, we try and release them. It is rare you will see one hanging at the dock anymore unless we cannot revive the fish at sea, as we have in the picture today. These bigger fish fight very hard and expend lots of their energy. Landing them quickly helps us to revive them. This fight took over 40 minutes.

 

Small Kingfish and some Dolphin have been filling in some of our time as well. If our history of the last few years runs true, expect more picture of some nice sized Dolphin as well. December and January have been excellent months for these fish the last 3 years or so.

 

Bottom fishing has also been good. Mutton Snappers, Yellowtails and Amberjacks have been biting both deep and shallow.

 

So what will today bring? We never know. But we’re ready for whatever the fish gods offer. Come join us.

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Trends

Posted on by Captain Steve

sean catch fish

Fort Lauderdale FishingThe Fort Lauderdale fishing trends are changing as we speak. Just moving that sun a bit south and the shortened days have already had a profound effect on the water temperatures. Because of the cooler water, the fish are more apt to feed in the higher areas bringing live bait into the picture. And we have tons of live bait around right now.

 

With the recent windy conditions, we have had some choppy seas. Waves break up the reflection of sunlight into the water and this allows more freedom for feeding fish. Our trolling days are becoming less and less and live baits are becoming more productive.

 

Sailfish have already been showing up with some consistency. They have been feeding mostly on flying fish and Ballyhoo. Just a few weeks ago they would barely touch a live bait but the Fort Lauderdale fishing trends are making live bait the way to go. So if a Sailfish is on your list of things to catch, you might consider investing in a dozen Goggle eyes, with the wind, the kites will be flying.

 

Large Kingfish are also in the mix. I have one picture here with Captain Jimmy from our drift boat, the Lois Ann. This was the biggest of 8 he caught the other day along with some snappers off the bottom.

 

The other picture is of Sean, the mate on my boat. We spent the day fishing live baby Bonitos from the riggers. Wes, from Texas, and his two sons were on board and we had hit after hit ending up with a nice catch of fish. We missed twice as many as we caught and were sorry the Sails we saw didn’t give a chance but all in all it was a great day. The rain had our group headed for their car at the end, Sean was the only one that would pose. Well, he was dressed for the weather. LOL

sean

The Fort Lauderdale fishing trends are changing. Less trolling and more time waiting for the bigger fish that visit us in the cooler months. Sounds a bit like our tourist visitors that will soon want to escape the cold from up north. Our first real cold front is here right now, posting lows in the high 60’s. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… LOL

 

Captain Steve

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Great Time Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale FishingIt is impossible not to have a great time fishing right now. Coming back from 2 days off to find the fish snapping was a great surprise. While the Kingfish on the reef had been biting well, Dolphin and Sailfish have joined the mix and with some numbers! And trolling has been the most productive.

 

The winds have been from the northeast, our best fishing wind and seas have been running around 3 to 4′. It’s been a little choppy out there but the good fishing certainly makes up for it. Even after doing this for over 40 years, I am excited and having a great time fishing not knowing what the next bite will bring.

 

Our guests are just happy catching fish the entire trip without much waiting. And the best part is the action once the Dolphin or Sailfish bite. You aren’t just reeling in a fish that you don’t see till it is boated. You are getting to see him “air out” when he jumps! And most do just that. Dolphin jump almost every time and Sailfish? Well, they can fool you, they might jump on the hook up or they might wait for some time into the fight before showing themselves. And my favorite is when they wait till at the boat just 10′ or so away and come shooting out of the water. You go from knowing you’ve got something big on to OMG! Have those cameras ready, it’s a pristine Kodak moment!

 

While pitching live bait to Dolphin and Sailfish has been working, that is sight fishing, when they are close. But these days trolling has been outproducing the kites and live bait 10 fold. We caught 2 Sails at the same time on the troll in the morning, just little guys and a nice BIG one in the afternoon. But no matter the size, they are a blast! The smaller ones are posted on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/

 

All I know is you will have a great time fishing right now. The bite is on and I can’t wait to get back out there!

 

Captain Steve

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Fishing After Matthew

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingFishing after Matthew has been great and it has been awhile since my last fishing report, we have been a little busy down here. With the threat of hurricane Matthew, we had much to do. Moving the boats, securing the marina and our homes in preparation for what was a very strong storm took precedent. Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Miami were spared the wrath of this storm. We were extremely lucky.

 

With that said, we returned the boats to the dock the day after Matthew and were fishing Saturday. And what a pleasant surprise the fishing was too! First bait in the water not 10’ from the boat and we had a fish on! Sorry it took so long folks. LOL

 

Kingfish have been small but plentiful. Catching our limit has been easy trolling the reef area. A few Bonito mixed in and this is the time of year the Dolphin come in shallow to feed on the Ballyhoo. While most are caught in deeper water, it’s not unusual to see them in only 20’ of water just a few hundred yards from the beach chasing baits.

 

Bait is another thing that has been prominent around. Flying Fish, Sardines, Mullet have all been on the move and this attracts fish. Skipjack Tuna is another fish usually caught further from shore but we got 6 the other day while fishing the reef.

 

With all this bait around, things are changing as our weather finally cools. Sea temperatures are falling, somewhat drastic after the storm passed, and this gets fish on the move. Our area has always been like a highway for fish migrating, traversing the coast. We will be switching from trolling to live bait soon and are expecting great things. It is almost time for the Sailfish, one of our favorite sport fish, to arrive in numbers.

 

Yes, fishing after Matthew has been very good and if you’re in the area? Take advantage of the bounty. I’ve included a couple of pictures including a rare one with me in it. I’m usually doing the taking. kathleen

 

Captain Steve

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Fishing This Week

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingOur fishing this week in Fort Lauderdale was somewhat of a whirlwind of trips. This is our slow season, what with the kids back in school and few people traveling. We spend some of our time at the dock rather than fishing, sprucing up the boats for what will soon be a busier time.

 

None the less, there still are a few people that want to be out there catching. Fishing this week with us were 2 guests from China. ZhouTong and Xin were with us for 2 full days. Now I wasn’t aware of the rest or their trip until we met that first morning. They have a 15 day trip planned visiting 13 states. That alone was quite ambitious. 2 of those fishing days were with us and the plans for both trips were laid out before we even met.

 

One day would be for fishing for Sailfish, other species allowed. The second day was to be spent bottom fishing, mostly Grouper. We had discussed all this in emails prior to the booking. I explained we might want to change things depending on conditions, swap days or whatever. None the less, the fishing this week was to involve these specific targets. Thank God they allowed other fish!

 

Day 1 was planned by catching live bait, Ballyhoo, trolling in search of good water and then doing our best with Sails. It began horribly, the bait would not bite and the Bermuda Chubs were so thick, the Ballyhoo wouldn’t come close to the boat to be netted. A quick trip to the sea buoy for runners also proved to be a flop as they were not eating because of the strong current and their “mood”. A captains worst nightmare had begun and we weren’t 90 minutes into the first of 2 all day trips.

 

Trolling proved productive with Kingfish and Bonitos on the reef area and we finally managed to net a few Ballyhoo at another location as the boys slept. Their trip had included a 12 hour drive from Texas the day before with little sleep last night.

 

A change of plans, some big baits out with a few “hoos” and we were fishing for something big! We hoped…And it didn’t take that long before a bite did come. It took about 30 minutes before we saw what we had hooked. It jumping and clearing the water by some 6’ just 200’ away was our prize, a 7’ Mako Shark! Tong was in the chair and the fish was not done fighting just yet. Another 10 minutes or so and we had our fish beside the boat being quite good as Liam held the leader. Actually, Liam was more excited about this fish than Tong or Xin, it was his first. They are spectacular animals with their bright blue color, pointed nose and rows of sharp teeth, an eating machine to say the least. This one was released and slowly swam away.

 

A few hours left in day one and it was time for the Sailfish part of our trip. This did take some time as we slowly bumped our live baits around with the dredge out. Dredge fishing is one of my favorite ways to fish. The dredge, which looks like a school of bait does some of the attracting and today it brought us our first of 3 Sailfish. He was right there, behind the dredge, piled on one of the baits and we were on! We missed a second fish while fighting the first and had another shot after the release but missed him as well. For a day that started so poorly, we ended up well.

 

Our second day did not have the same results. The baits were still not biting but we managed a few. Trolling north to the many wrecks, we spent much of our time dropping on different spots with poor results. Strong currents were causing the problems as we tried some semi deep spots, knowing the deep ones would be tough. Once again trolling saved us with a pair of nice Blackfin Tunas at the end of our trip. Other fish were also caught but compared to the day before? They just made me feel better. LOL

 

That is all for fishing this week. Now are you ready to hear about sanding and painting? I didn’t think so… Thanks for listening.

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fall Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

There are two times a year I look forward to and one of them is the Fort Lauderdale fall fishing. Our summer fishing pattern will be changing as the waters cool and all kinds of baitfish begin moving south. Trolling will remain the preferred choice for catching fish for another month or so before switching to live baits. With the migration of bait come some changes in our Fort Lauderdale fall fishing catches.

While the most obvious of baitfish, the Mullet migration which can be seen from the beach and in the canals, other types of baits are also making their way through our area. Bullet Bonitos, the smaller version of the “bomber Bonitos” we catch in the summer months, are everywhere right now. Sardines, Ballyhoo and Pilchards are also coming through in droves. Wahoo, Sailfish and Dolphin are ALL making their way south, following this “feast” of migrating bait, and in many cases, in very close to shore.

We have seen an increase in Kingfish on the reef, small groups of Dolphin chasing Ballyhoo and even Sailfish feeding freely on the surface. All this is happening this year a bit ahead of schedule. After the summer months of 90 degree heat, we look forward to some cooler temps and some bigger fish.

Our weather has been outstanding with calm winds and seas and very little rain. Hope I don’t jinx it with that statement. LOL Conditions have been great for spotting fish feeding and bottom fishing. Most days even the current has been cooperating. These trends will continue into October as the sun falls further to the south and the waters cool. Some wind and waves will truly set things into motion.

The Fort Lauderdale fall fishing has already begun. Each day could be that lucky day and the fish of a lifetime might be caught.

Captain Steve

BTW, Check out this short Video of the Porpoise we ran into today while fishing.

https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/

 

 

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Shared Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Shared fishing trips

Shared fishing tripOne of the most popular trips we offer is our shared fishing trip. A shared fishing trip can be as few as 3 and as many as 6 individuals that pay a reduced fare and join each other making up a group. Not only can it be fun just from meeting others but on days like this one? It’s great having the extra hands to reel! LOL

 

There are days when we have to look around, searching for our first bite and that school of fish but the last few days, as soon as the baits go in the water, we have had bites almost immediately. Large schools of Bonito have been in our area and while these fish aren’t very good to eat, they provide plenty of action and fishing fun. Their real name is a Little Tunny and they are a false Tuna. Anything in the Tuna family will give you quite the struggle as they are fierce fighters. And by hooking one, the others in the school become excited and can hit every line you have out, as happened more than once today.

 

When fish are biting like this, it is sometimes hard to catch anything but. We also were pleased when a 25 lbs. Wahoo joined us today. He kind of snuck in there on us among all the other fish. A nice Kingfish was also boated.

 

Bonitos are a welcome sight on a shared fishing trip. First and foremost, it means everyone will catch a fish or two, maybe 3 or 4. LOL We ended up with 28 today. Even the young boy in the picture caught a few on his own. Also included in our catch were some small Barracuda that we released.

 

If Bonitos aren’t very good to eat, why do we keep them? They are a valuable bait source for fishing here. By filleting and thinning the meat on the skin, we make strip baits that we use year round for trolling. We also use some of the smaller ones for whole baits for bigger fish.

 

So if you are by yourself or maybe just 2 people, you might join us for a shared fishing trip. The fish are chewing, that’s for sure.

 

Captain Steve

 

PS. Now sometimes, you get one of these after a trip…

Shared Fishing Trip Shared Fishing Trip

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