Archive for the "Sport" Category

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. https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/?fref=ts

 

win

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

Megan

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.

3Hooked

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

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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.

Texas

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.

Shark

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

Group

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

Kingfish

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.

Kingfish

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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Sandbar Shark Makes Fishing Day

Posted on by Captain Steve

Sandbar fishing

SandbarIt is not always that people that fish with us here in Fort Lauderdale want to catch something big. Many times they just want fish and the focus is not on something large. But when Tom and Brian showed up at the dock early today, their goal was hoping to catch a shark… A BIG shark! And with a 6 hour trip ahead of us, we felt we had time to a little regular fishing as well as target something big.

 

With light winds and only a slight chop on the seas, we ventured out to find some green water as far as the eye could see. Not a bad color water for Tuna, Kingfish or shark, but not great for Dolphin. We spent our first few hours trolling and caught some Kings and small Bonitos on the reef area fairly close to shore. With a limit of only 2 per person, our Kingfish limit was reached and we ventured out to where the big ones are.

 

This is where patience is important… You usually have to wait for your bite and after deploying our baits? We waited and waited… And waited… The light current today was not helping our quest. The current carries the scent and predators down current pick this up and follow it to our baits. And after over 2 hours of this, we were running out of time.

 

I have to commend both Tom and Brian. They were quite content with what we had already caught and were willing to tough it out. Go big or go home. Their perseverance paid off.

 

Our bottom rod took a big bounce, relaxed and then doubled over as line peeled off. It takes a mere second to go from waiting to action and now we had other baits to clear before the fight began. With Brian in the big chair, he began following first mate Adam’s instructions as I kept the boat over the fish. At times, we couldn’t budge this stubborn fish that had yet to be identified, other times we were able to retrieve some line, only to lose it again as the fish kept peeling line on his runs.

 

It took Brian about 30 minutes to get the fish close enough to the boat for our first sighting which didn’t last long, the fish took off and was deep again. We knew it was a shark, just not sure what kind. Another 10 minutes and he was back at the boat and finally under our control  to be boated, measured, tagged and released… Sandbar Sharks are protected.

 

I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is to see a customer so excited about his catch. The picture tells the story as Adam holds the shark’s mouth open and Brian in the back. We opened the transom door and the fish literally swam out the back of the boat and into the water. He wasted no time in leaving our area

 

Thanks To and Brian for your attitude in what we do. You make our job easy.

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Kids Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Kids go fishing!

For this fishing report for the Fort Lauderdale area, I’d like to talk a bit about size and kids. I am always asked “what’s the biggest fish I’ve caught”? Truth be told, I hope I haven’t caught my biggest yet and many of my customers have caught larger fish than I have. After all, how would people feel if I were catching their fish?

June 1 report

A recent trip with these 2 young boys had me reflecting on this very question. One great thing about kids is that they get excited no matter what size the fish is. They needed help in reeling the fish in, even complaining they couldn’t do it anymore to which Robert and Sean prompted them on. A hand was added to the handle to help land the fish they caught. They felt pride and excitement even though they needed help at their new BIGGEST fish! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what keeps me coming back to work each day.

So… what’s YOUR biggest fish? It doesn’t really matter if you’re young or old. Size is relative to your size and what you’ve caught in the past. Maybe that’s why kids are so easy to please.

As for what we’ve been catching? Small Blackfin Tuna with some really nice, big ones have been biting. Kingfish on the reef with Bonitos mixed in and each day we hope for Dolphin, but they have been coming and going with no regular schedule. Fishing for sharks has slowed but if you reel your fish in too slowly, you stand a chance to lose it to a shark so they are still around.

The main thing is we’re catching fish and having fun doing it. And that’s all for now for the Fort Lauderdale area and this fishing report.

Captain Steve

 

 

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Shark Sailfish Dolphin Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charters

With April almost upon us we look forward to spring fishing here off Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Florida. But our winter has been pretty good compared to the last 3 years with a mix of some Shark, Sailfish and Dolphin activity.

While the winter time is our most productive time of year for Sailfish, this year was better than recent years. Not in the numbers we like to see and certainly not consistent but we’ve had a good showing, especially recently. At this point in time, we’ll be seeing these fish moving both directions in their migration patterns as opposed to south in the winter. Believe me, there’s nothing more exciting that getting one of these on your line, even for guys like me who have been doing this for years!

I chose this picture of the Sailfish because it shows the entire fish. This particular fish was 87”. If you look closely, you’ll see a clear tube which feeds the fish we boat seawater to help them survive as we measure and tag them before their release. Preserving our fishery is very important to us and we do this with most boated game and sport fish.

April also brings some Shark activity. To this point we have had some good results when trying for something big but that’s going to improve, it always does, Thresher, Hammerhead, Bull, Sandbar, Tiger and Dusky Sharks just to name a few. It is this time of year that landing any other fish becomes difficult because of the predators eating your catch before you can land it. Reel quickly or you might end up with just the head of a fish on your line…

Dolphin are generally caught in the late spring and early summer but this year we’ve had good to excellent results through the winter. A trip just the other day produced a nice catch of some schoolie Dolphin and a few big ones to round out the field. Usually when a catch like this happens, it all happens at once but this day offered bite after bite with the fish hitting in pairs. Most the fish were in the 6 to 8 lbs. range with a few in the low teens to round things out. We had to almost force them to take a few to a local restaurant to be prepared but the rest? Well, my wife has a killer recipe for Dolphin… 

The weather is warming, the fish are on the move and things are heating up toward some excellent fishing. Sharks, Sailfish and Dolphin are just the tip of the iceberg but certainly part of the main group. It gets easy writing fishing reports this time of year…

Captain Steve

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