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Posts Tagged "Dolphin"

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Family fishing time

As fall comes upon us, it is time to make some changes in our Fort Lauderdale fishing techniques. Cooler weather and shorter days have most our summertime fishes migrating south. While trolling is still used to some extent, we switch from dragging dead, rigged baits to slow trolling live baits. Small bullet Bonitos and Ballyhoo are my 2 favorites.

If the wind is up and blowing hard enough to get the kites up? That’s an option I like best! The kite supports the bait up on or near the surface. This causes the bait to struggle to get deeper and those struggling sounds are picked up by all types of fish. Sailfish, Dolphin and shark are the usual species, but any fish can be attracted.

Kite fishing also gives you a great chance of “seeing” what’s biting before they strike. The slashing of a Sailfish bill or the fin of a shark that has been attracted. The head wake of a Dolphin or maybe just a splash of a King or Tuna. While your crew is used to looking for these signs, even an untrained eye will pick up the obvious.

Lately trolling has slowed to some degree. The number of fish we catch each trip is declining. But the size of those fish is increasing. The Mahi of the summer are now 15-20 lbs.

With a slow bite, we turn to our wrecks and reefs, both shallow and deep. A live bait on some light tackle can add to the fun. But our deep drops don’t get the light tackle. The fish in the picture is the reason why.

This Black Grouper would make quick work of a 20 or 30 lb. setup. He would have found his way back into the rocks or structure. Now wouldn’t you hate to see that happen… LOL

Fort Lauderdale fishing. Get ready for some bigger game fish!

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Mahi fish

August began sort of so-so but as you will see in this Fort Lauderdale fishing report, things are heating up here off our coast.


The biggest change has been the fishing offshore of Fort Lauderdale. Recent all-day trips have been very successful in both Swordfish and Mahi-mahi.

Our most recent Swordfishing trip netted us 2 nice bites. Both decent fish between 150-200 lbs. While we were able to see the fish, we were not able to get either into the boat. Our guests were delighted with the fight and the sights, but as you can imagine, Capt. Jimmy and crew were decimated.

It’s always that last little bit that gives the most trouble. With less line out, each time the fish moves, it has a more direct impact on the hook and where it is set. This is true for most any type of fish and NO fish is excited about their first boat ride… LOL

Our next all-day trip was strictly for Dolphin. Since it was the same guest and with the heart break the day before, They decided to make another day drop for a Sword. In their travels, they did find Dolphin and ended up with a nice catch. This was repeated a few days later with Mahi’s being found much closer to shore than the day before, only about 7-8 miles off the coast. I guess a Swordfish Just wasn’t in the cards for this customer.

On the Reef

Closer to shore where our shorter 4- and 6-hour trips fish, we are finding Bonitos and Kings biting well. Much better than in recent weeks. The drift fishing boat has also been doing well in this area with assorted snapper and other reef fish as well as a few Kings and Bonitos.

It’s all about fishing and catching something. And having fun doing it. And we have been.

Capt. Steve

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Happy New Year from Fantastic Fishing!

Posted on by Justin Ladenthin

3 hour sail

Happy New Year from all of us at Fantastic Fishing! We’re excited to see what the New Year has in store for all of us. We are also excited to see what we have in store for YOU when you join us for an offshore sportfishing adventure!

The Holiday season causes us to take a moment to thank YOU for giving us at Fantastic Sportfishing the opportunity and privilege to introduce YOU to this unmatched South Florida fishery. Without YOU, our Team has no mission. We greatly appreciate your business and hope that you’ll come back to see us soon, especially our junior anglers who may still have a few days off from school as their holiday season winds down.

Nothing rings in the New Year quite like a red-hot Winter bite and that’s exactly what we have going on right now! The pods of Sailfish are in town for the holidays and they don’t want to leave -and we’re not complaining. Wahoo, King Mackerel and Amberjacks have also shown up to keep line peeling and drags screaming.

Offshore Report: Sailfish, Sailfish, Sailfish

The world-famous Sailfish are here and feeding on the schools of Ballyhoo as they make their way south down our beaches and reefs. The recent cold fronts have really turned on the bite as we continue to catch multiple Sailfish on slow-trolled live Ballyhoo or on live Goggle Eyes suspended below our fishing kites.

South Florida is the birthplace of kite fishing and nobody does it better than the pros at Fantastic Sportfishing. We been catching Sailfish anywhere from 60 feet out to 300 feet of water. When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air, we’ve also had success catching Sailfish trolling Sea Witches (in blue/white and pink/white color combinations) on the surface at 7 – 9 knots.


Everybody Yell Wahoo!

Wahoo have been very active on the reefs as well as out to 600 feet of water and they are picking away at our live baits while Sailfishing. We’re catching Wahoo in the 10 to 40-pound range either on our Sailfish baits or on live Bonitos. We’re also catching Wahoo on the troll with bonito strips, mullet strips, lures and feathers trolled below the surface on planers.

As we all saw during November, Wahoo aren’t the only “toothy critters” on the prowl. Barracuda continue to patrol the reefs looking for unwary prey and they have been pouncing on our live baits and trolled baits. Look at this fearsome sea monster:

Shark Fishing Will Keep You Warm:

The shark fishing continues to be hot. We continue to tangle with Blacktips and Spinner Sharks as they chase the migrating baitfish. We also get Hammerhead Sharks show up underneath our Sailfish baits suspended under our kites. You need to keep your head on a swivel and few things are as impressive as an 8-foot Hammerhead thrashing just underneath the kite. Amazing!

“A” For Amberjacks:

We continue to introducing our clients to the offshore version of Crossfit Training: Amberjacks! We’re dropping down a live Bonito or Goggle Eye in 200 – 300 feet of water to slug it out with huge, bruising Amberjacks.

As always, there is no snow in OUR forecast. Ever. Come join us to get 2019 started the right way! Give us a call to book a trip with Fantastic Sportfishing.

Tight Lines,
Captain Steve

Posted in Sailfish, Wahoo

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Father’s Day Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

fahter's day

You know, Dad likes to fish anytime, not just on Father’s Day. However, the Father’s Day fishing trip always has us busy and this year is no exception.

We had a great family on board and when asked what they would like to catch? Just put us on some fish was the answer… My favorite answer to this question. But today we struggled at first with this somewhat easy task.

The radio for the fleet was reporting plenty of Kings and Bonito in the area. And yet, it had been over an hour of fishing and we still had nothing in our box. We’ve had the hits but missed every fish. It seemed an eternity before we finally stayed connected and just catching one King gave me hope our drought was over.

Now some folks like Kingfish, others aren’t too fond of them. Our group could take or leave them so after boating 6 or so, we opted for some off shore Dolphin fishing.

In order to catch Dolphin, you must find something to fish to. Plenty of seaweed has been around and with it being Father’s day, plenty of boats were out too. We got to the pretty blue water and began our search. Scattered grass and some big patches of weed were in our area. Little Bar Jacks that hide beneath the weed were also present. And finally, a Mahi! Easily too small to keep as was the second.

But we continued and finally began catching some we could keep. No real big ones but the action was consistent as 1 after another made it into our box. They weren’t together, just coming one at a time.  And being about 7 miles from shore, our time had come to go home.

In the end, we had 6 Kings, 8 keeper Dolphin, we had released some 15 Jacks and probably almost as many small Mahis. But our group was quite pleased with the Father’s day fishing trip.

Remember, dad will go fishing anytime! LOL

Captain Steve

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Fishing This Week

Posted on by Captain Steve

Cuda Fish

Most of our fishing this week has been done in what we here in south Florida consider cold. OK, try not to laugh. You bundle up with winter clothes or are scraping ice or snow from your windows. As your temperatures hit 20’s or less, we thin blooded people prepare to brave 50’s! Ok, go ahead and laugh. LOL

But our Florida sun comes out and things get warm quickly. These cold snaps really help our fishing and keep things moving south. Just like many of you from up north. We’ll be seeing some of you soon.

Our area here off the shore is like a virtual highway for fish migrating. Drops in sea temperatures have fish traveling for warmer waters. And just a few miles from shore everything from small to large will pass by. Sometimes they come in spurts of one species or another. Other times it can be like rush hour.

Sailfish are what we are expecting soon. They ride the waves and sea swells south against the current. It is known as “tailing” as they surf down sea on their travels south. It hasn’t happened just yet but will soon.

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charter

Dolphin have been making appearances as well. While some sea weed helps, they too are just moving south and can be caught just out of the blue. Li8ve bait has been the best for these but trolling has also had good results.

Our wrecks have been producing both bottom fish and some large predators as in the picture of Mike holding his monster Barracuda. Almost 30 minutes on light tackle to land this beast, a true trophy!

We always try to provide our guests with what they hope to catch. But our main goal is to catch fish! And this “cool” weather has been helping our fishing this week.

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

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Late Fall Dolphin

Posted on by Captain Steve

Charter Boats Ft Lauderdale

While our waters cool off Fort Lauderdale, the late fall Dolphin have been gracing us with their presence. The wrecks, both deep and shallow, are also performing well. And some other stuff mixed in. Here’s the rundown.

On the rip

While a “rip” is any type of quiet water on one side and current on the other, this is just one attraction that leads us to Dolphin. Any kind of flotsam, weed beds or even just a color change can hold fish.

Lately we’ve been finding a stringy type of sea grass holding Dolphin within just a few miles from shore. Only a few throw backs, most are in the 5-10 pound range with a few nice sized gaffers. Always a popular fish with our guests for both the fight and table fare. It is probably the most requested fish.


Closer to shore

Come toward shore just a mile or two and you are fishing back in the reef area. Kingfish, Tuna and Sailfish have been caught in this area. While they are thick, they have been biting with regularity. The kings have been small unless using live bait. That can produce some of the big ones!

On the Drift

Our drift boat, the Lois Ann, has been having great luck with small Kings. Many are throw backs because of their size but certainly a thrill to catch. Daytime drifting has also had good catches of Trigger, Mutton Snapper and some good sized Yellowtails.

The evening anchor trip has been having good catches of Mangrove, Vermillion and Yellowtail Snapper. The crowds have been light so there’s been plenty of room.

No matter which type of fishing you do, you can expect some good results. And we’ll be looking for those late fall Dolphin until the trend changes.

Captain Steve

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This Week’s Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

It has always amazes me how much sea conditions can change, and how quickly, as they did in this week’s fishing. And with these changes come different types of fish you can catch.


North current can change to none or south in minutes. Water color can go from blue to green or vice versa quickly as well. Many times that green water has to do with rain as it did the other day while catching bait. The Ballyhoo came to the chum bag quickly but would not come to the surface for quite some time, the fresh water keeping them down a foot or so.


This week’s fishing has been very good however, even with these changes. Bait is very thick migrating through the area and has Dolphin and Tuna in close to shore. Live bait has always been the most productive for Dolphin but trolling gives you the ability to cover ground and find these fish. As our sea temperatures drop, this will change and mostly live bait will be the big producer.


Sailfish activity is also on the rise. At this time of year, the smaller, younger Sails frequent shallow waters near the reef. Some bigger Sailfish are a bit further off shore and again found on the troll.


Bottom fishing has been excellent! Grouper and Amberjack have been found on the deeper wrecks with the occasional Snapper or Cobia as well. There are some BIG fish down there… We don’t always win this battle. Some broken leaders have us wondering what that was and how big. LOL


All in all it is a great time to be out there catching fish as you can see in the picture. Andrew and his new wife Jessica had a great day with us catching a variety of fish. They could only hold 4 for the picture on the way in.


This week’s fishing has been good. We’re expecting the same for the next few weeks.


Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Cross this off my bucket list

Our daytime Swordfish trip ended a great week of Fort Lauderdale fishing. Schoolie Mahi-mahi invaded our off shore area with large amounts of seaweed making it hard to keep baits clean. But when they were clean, the fish had no problem biting well.


Most of the action was 5 to 10 miles from shore with huge areas of weed. These large beds make the perfect haven for small baitfish and food for the small Dolphin. While 30% had to be released because of their small size, it certainly didn’t take away from the action and fun of seeing these fish attack our baits. If you check out our Facebook page, you’ll see a video of these small fish swimming right behind the boat. .  https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/


With all this great Fort Lauderdale fishing action, I was quite excited when J. R. and his wife Nicole came across the state to go daytime dropping for Swordfish. With near calm seas and a bright sunny day we were off with high expectations, at least Hunter and I were. LOL JR expected nothing but a nice day.


There was an area we could have fished on the way out, it looked great for Mahi, but we continued a bit further. Our ultimate goal was a Sword so we pressed on.


Another area we found looked promising and we fished a bit but things thinned out so we again pushed for the Swordfish grounds. Our first drop hit the water at 10 am. We were connected at 10:20!


Hunter had just finished explaining how the electric reel we use worked when the rod tip tweaked. JR smashed the button and the rod bent over hard! Since we had just found the bottom again and come up a bit, I feared we had hung something. With 3.5 knots of current and over 2400’ of line out? It’s not always easy to tell.


But we were connected to a fish and a nice one at that! We gain some and then lose some, overall retrieving more than losing. The weight finally appeared and was removed only to have the fish take a few hundred feet of line from us. Keeping the fish stretched out away from the boat, he finally gave in and got close enough for the perfect dart shot from Hunter. That video is also on our Facebook page.


JR’s prize was now in the boat and it was only a little after 11 am. Well, I guess we’ll go enjoy some of this great Fort Lauderdale fishing and go try for Mahi’s. And we did. LOL


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

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

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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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