Posts Tagged "Charter"

Charter Boat Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

deep-sea fishing

With the time change firmly in place now, I get a glimpse of the sea as I come over the bridge on my way to the charter boat dock. The sun is too low for a look at the color. But sea conditions look nice even though the wind is blowing.

 

I arrive an hour or so early before the trip. But some days, our guests are just as early. Anxious with anticipation and excited about their charter boat trip.

 

As we prepare for our day we have a chance to find out our guests expectations. Some really don’t care what they catch. Something to eat would be nice, maybe a BIG fish. Others have prepared a semi shopping list, specific in their wants of what is to be caught. To this I can only respond that we are going fishing, not shopping. LOL We’ll still do our best to fill their bill.

I can tell that today’s group is here strictly to have a good time. I am asked if one gentleman can bring his own rod. Even though we have everything we need, I say sure, bring it. He then produces a pink and purple Disney Princess rod from his car, his granddaughter’s. Oh, this is going to be good… LOL

 

It seemed the day went by in a second. Before I knew it, we were on our way home. Mahi-mahi and Kingfish for were dinner. A nice Barracuda was released and some other hits on our live bait. And while everyone on board caught fish and had a great time, I wanted more for these folks. I always do.

 

Super nice and full of humor was the theme of this outing. And that is what charter boat fishing is all about. Tomorrow I will watch the dawn break again on my in to work. I’ll meet my guests. Will it be you?

 

Captain Steve

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Shared Fishing Charter Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

Shared fishing trip

Private charter fishing trips are the main type of trips we sail in the winter months but all year long we offer what is called a split or shared fishing charter trip. These trips are put together with people that are traveling alone or maybe as a couple and don’t want to spend the money for a private charter. In the summer months here in the Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood/ Miami area, this is usually the case and type of trip we run.

Our group today got along so well, we as crew barely got a word in edgewise. Catching some fish sure didn’t hurt either. While the skies were sunny and the winds light, we began and continued to troll the entire time, a great way to catch fish in the summer heat as it creates a breeze as we move through the water. And I can tell you, even the smaller fish put up a good fight… It’s not as easy as it looks on TV and that comment was made more than once. LOL

A few Bonitos, we expect more to come, some Kingfish, small Dolphin and Tuna were our fish of the day. The Dolphin were too small to keep but were photographed before being released by those that caught them because of their vibrant color. In less than a week they will be big enough to keep but they are somewhat educated now… A couple of nice Kingfish in the 10-15 pound range, a Huge Bonito with a regular Bomber and a nice Tuna made our group quite happy.

The ONLY problem with split or shared fishing charters is trying to get the entire group to line up back at the dock for a photo with their catch! The two guys on the right were so excited about the size of these fish, I can only guess they were used to Bluegills or Croppies… They stood for over 5 minutes waiting for the rest to appear. The gal in the picture was also excited and one of the most tenacious anglers I have ever seen. In the end, this was all I could capture at the end of our trip

So if you want to save a few bucks and meet some great people, a split or shared fishing charter trip might be for you. It’s a great way to go sport fishing without the entire cost of the boat on your shoulders. But you have to be nice… And share…

Captain Steve

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Birthday Fishing Trip Does Well

Posted on by Captain Steve

Dolphin fish

Here in the Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale area it is not unusual to have a few birthday fishing trips come our way. The day was Blake’s birthday and what he REALLY hoped to catch was a Dolphin and maybe a Sailfish. So Blake treated himself to a private charter with a few friends… Jason, Ashley and Dana. Friends, couples, married… I don’t know and don’t ask unless the information is offered. 

For Sailfish, the BEST baits are the Goggle Eyes that can be bought on the way out the port. And the Sailfish should be here right now but they have been a bit lean. None the less, we like to put our best foot forward and off we went to catch Blake and his group some fish.

Trolling was turning out to be a bust, it seemed as if nothing was on the reef feeding and after an hour or so, we decided to switch things up a bit and put some live baits out along with some big baits on both the top and bottom. Our group was having a great day at sea, cool temperatures, very clear and sunny skies, light winds and calm seas. The time was actually going by quickly considering we had only caught one small Bonito… I think…LOL

We sat for quite some time and passed the time talking and telling stories and such when suddenly, a fish was jumping behind the boat. A Dolphin had eaten one of our live baits and was jumping toward us, the release clip on the rigger was still intact. JJ was quick and handed the rod off to Blake after getting it loose from the rigger and some excitement was happening!

And at this point, I have to ask you, is this birthday luck? Blake had asked for a Dolphin, not one had been reported from any boat out and yet, here we were, fighting one right now. And to add to the luck, as the fish neared the boat, we saw he had brought some friends with him. Lot’s of friends too! And this is where a charter boat is the boat to be on when opportunity meets preparation!

We were lucky, again, that Blake and Jason knew how to tie hooks on. The chaos that followed was typical when a boat is surrounded by hungry fish. Jason ran down below, as instructed by JJ, and brought out more spinning rods. Our second spinner was already in use and hooked with a fish on it, Blake at the side keeping his fish in the water. More rods, more bait, this one over that one, you come around over here… Working the fish and the rods around the big bait rods, keeping things clear, boating fish, it truly was chaos.

This entire episode lasted maybe 30 minutes or less. Mahi-mahi began to become aware that some of their friends are leaving the group and things aren’t normal. Their aggressive nature and speed at which they approach a bait begin slowing down as they approach in a more cautious manner. And soon the school had moved on heading south and any other boat that encountered them would have a tough time getting a bite for a while.

The cleanup began, we had missed a bottom bite in all the commotion, no hooks were left on our spinning rods but our group was delighted! In all, 18 Dolphin had been caught and maybe 2 or 3 lost. We fished a bit longer and even saw a few Dolphin swim by the boat but they were not interested in anything we offered.
IMG_4181 Dolphin
So it was a happy group we returned to the dock with their catch. A birthday wish granted, well, only one wish, but 18 times. 

Captain Steve

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Bill’s Fort Lauderdale Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Bill Catch Sail fish

Most fishing trips on charter boats here in Fort Lauderdale are limited to 6 passengers. 6 is the maximum we can carry at one time but on occasion, 6 people aren’t wanted or needed. Sometimes it’s just 1 person on board with the captain and first mate. And today, we had Bill.

Now having just 1 person on board is kind of a treat for the crew. We have to learn just one name, there’s never a question of who will fight the fish and so on.

Fishing lately has been fairly active on the reef area. Some Bonitos are still around and our first bite turned out to be quite a test for Bill and his new shoulder. Just 2 lines out and the deep one went off. A BIG run taking drag as we moved the rod to the chair and Bill took over. With a run like that? It must be a Wahoo! After about 10 minutes we found it could also be a foul hooked Bonito, a big one, but a Bonito none the less. While Justin and I were kind of disappointed, Bill seemed quite happy with his first fish of the day.

One fish that has been consistent lately has been Kingfish. Most have been between 5 and 8 lbs. and the bite has been good. We began catching these and I think Bill might have thought about maybe having one more person on board to help. You see, even when we have just 1 on board, we fish just like we do with 3, 5 or 6 people. Our two deep rods were going off often and many times Bill would finish with one only to have another put in his grasp. His rotator cuff surgery was holding up well.

With the Kingfish action so good, we stayed with them and caught our limit and then some. Finally we opted to try for something bigger and began heading to deeper waters for a shark or Grouper… Time to give Bill a little rest. But Mother Ocean decided Bill needed one more challenge and one of the top baits got hit with another big run.

Once again Justin and I surmised that another large Bonito had struck and we were preparing things as Bill fought his fish. After almost 10 minutes into the battle, what we thought was a Bonito jumped and showed his true colors. A Sailfish? In September? The absolute worst month to catch a Sailfish off Fort Lauderdale?

Seeing what was on the line kind of changed our attitudes a bit as we went into sportfishing gear clearing lines and moving the boat backwards to aid Bill in his quest. The Sailfish we do catch in October are usually small but this fish was full grown and angry. Even after 30 minutes, he managed to jump close to the boat and completely clear the water. Another 10 minutes and we had him boatside for billing, pictures and his release. It took a bit to revive the fish after the long battle but he swam away in excellent form.

So you don’t have to have 6 on your fishing trip here in Fort Lauderdale but it’s not a bad idea to maybe have one other angler. You might want the rest…

Captain Steve

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Fanntastic Fishing Gets Son First Sail

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fanntastic Fishing First SailfishThere aren’t many places in the world where just 20 minutes or so from the dock you are wetting lines and fishing in the deep sea. Fort Lauderdale happens to be one of them and since so many people visit us here, it makes this fun and exciting sport very accessible.

Bernie and his son, Nicky, showed up right on time for the afternoon trip. What was supposed to be a shared fishing trip turned out to be a private charter and with just the two of them on board, we were off.

The afternoon trip can start off slow, with the heat of the day making the deeper baits the most hit. Very little surface action until that sun gets down a bit. We trolled and picked at some Kingfish and a Bonito or two before trying for something larger. You just never know how things will go.

We set a few deep baits for big fish like shark, Grouper, Snapper, whatever might be around. After all, that IS the thrill of it all, catching something big. We were also positioned close to a shallow wreck in about 150’ of water and were dropping some small baits for any Snapper that might be lurking.

First mate Adam had put out a couple of small Pilchards from the rigger, there had been a few Mahi’s around. Our big baits weren’t being touched and the small reef stuff was having their way with us. This was turning out to be a bust. But wait… There’s more! Isn’t there always with me? LOL

A rigger line came down and a Sailfish began jumping. He had eaten one of the Pilchards and we had him on 20# test line. The spinning rods are great for catching Sailfish… It’s just that they don’t hold a ton of line. We have to retrieve everything to go after this fish before he spools us.

It was quite an acrobatic fish for sure… Jumping, running out the line, we were down to maybe 1/3 a spool left before we finally began backing down on this fish. Even as we got close, this fish was still jumping and taking drag, putting on quite the show. After 30 minutes or so, we finally had him at the side of the boat and Nick had his first ever Sailfish!

The picture shows Adam releasing this fish as we revive him. Adam holds the fish, the customers hold Adam…

Not a bad way to end our trip and remember, this is just a little over 1 mile from shore. While we don’t always catch “The BIG one”, Fort Lauderdale fishing can certainly be exciting either way.

Nice job Nick.

Keep em tight… Keep em on!

Captain Steve

 

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Kid’s Fishing Fun

Posted on by Captain Steve

MiloUsually when we talk about a fishing charter with kids in Fort Lauderdale, it involves a family charter where everyone is involved. Today was a bit different as we were chartered for the sole purpose of catching fish for Milo, a 4 year old from London.

It was absolutely gorgeous today with clear, sunny skies, light breezes, calm seas and fairly nice temperatures in the mid 80’s. With Milo’s mom, his “special mom” as he called her and baby brother on board, we began trolling in the inlet. Spanish Mackerel have been around and the tide was just beginning to fall. Small spoons are used and they work well, our first fish was hooked less than 5 minutes after leaving the dock.

4 year olds are very curious and keeping Milo’s small hands away from the Mackerel’s mouth wasn’t easy, he wanted to touch his fish. Another fish he was unable to touch was caught, a Leather Jack. Shiny silver with a bright yellow tail, these small fish have tangs in both the lower and upper parts of their bodies. They can make a mate’s hands throb for hours if handled incorrectly and Justin chose to de-hook this one and let it go. Of course, mom got a picture.

Early fall is when the baitfish move through our area and a bit further out to sea we began catching small Bullet Bonitos 2 at a time. Milo was going from one rod to the other reeling them in for us. It became humorous as he’d wind the fish in while pointing with his other hand at planes and other things that caught his attention, asking questions the whole time. Apparently these fish didn’t require his full attention. LOL And we finally had caught some fish Milo could touch and hold. He was quite excited.

With plenty of live bait in our well, we headed for shallow waters in search of Barracuda, something a little more substantial for Milo to reel in. The tide had turned and the water in close was getting murky from recent rains. It took some time to finally get our bite but Milo waited patiently, unusual for a 4 year old.

The line was singing out and Justin had the rod positioned sideways in the rod holder, Milo was too small to hold the rod and he fought the fish as he had all the others. It took him over 10 minutes to land this Barracuda all by himself. He was quite proud and should be, considering the fish is almost as big as he is. Another fish we kept away from Milo, Barracudas are known for their canine like teeth and can move quickly if not held tight.

We still had some time left and ventured off shore a ways looking for Mahi-mahi or Tuna but struck out on that. However, we did see a few turtles and other things that brought forth a barrage of questions and before we knew it, out time was over.

Kids, fishing charters, Fort Lauderdale… It all adds up to fun and excitement. Oh, and questions.

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Snapper On!

Posted on by Captain Steve

pic_4Combining a few different types of fishing in Fort Lauderdale makes the day go by quickly and increases your chances of catching fish. And with the winter months bringing on kite fishing and using live baits? It’s the perfect time to drop a bait down for some of the snappers we have around here. And this is exactly what we did with Ashley, Brittany and dad Chuck the other day.

Flying fishing kites is a very productive way to fish and we do it often this time of year. Primarily used for catching Sailfish, anything that eats in the sea will bite these baits. But as in all fishing, there might be a bit of a wait for that bite. So when conditions allow, we like to use an “entertainment rod” to keep our guests busy as they wait for that big bite.

This is a rod that the guest actually hold themselves. We set it up and explain how to use it. It takes a bit to get used to it if you’ve never done it before but Ashley showed us once again that no experience is necessary… The bait is dropped down to the bottom or close to it and if they are biting? It doesn’t take long before the first hit is felt.

Ashley wasn’t really into this fishing thing and was very casual in her holding the rod. That changed when the rod bent and began jerking in her hand. Adam was quick to help her get situated with the rod and soon she was reeling up what appeared to be a nice sized fish. It turned out to be a 10 lbs. Mutton Snapper, an excellent eating fish. We had already caught a few small Tuna and had just added to the menu.

It’s my job to watch the kite baits when this is going on but in truth? It’s hard to concentrate on them when there is other action in the cockpit. Brittney was next and caught a smaller Mutton that we had to release.

Not only snapper will bite this rig and dad chuck got a nice bite and reeled in a small Silky Shark that took some time to land. We usually lose them as they bite through the line.

The weather was changing and rain and wind was making the seas change. All in all, we ended up with the two Tuna and 4 keeper Muttons, the biggest caught by Ashley. The hard part now was finding a restaurant that was open on Christmas Eve day to prepare the fish. But we got that done too.

And that’s snapper fishing, Fort Lauderdale style. Fishing while you fish. I like it!

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