Posts Tagged "Fishing Trip"

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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Fort Lauderdale Sailfish

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Sailfish

Fort Lauderdale SailfishAs we begin the New Year I always look forward to Fort Lauderdale Sailfish fishing. It is one of our most exciting fish to catch just a mile or two off our coast. While we can catch Sailfish year round in any month, it is at this time of year we target them. They migrate through our coastal area heading south and if you’ve never caught a billfish? You’re in for a real treat!

 

From now until May, live bait will be the most productive, usually presented in kite fishing. Kite fishing usually allows you to “see the bite” as the fish approaches the bait held on the surface. Sometimes their sail is up out of the water, other times just the bill slashing at the bait attracts your attention. And if the fish eats the bait? Patience is a true virtue. Don’t come tight too quickly or you will pull the bait from his mouth.

 

A text book bite is the fish takes the bait and swims 10 to 20’ down and away. He will stop and at this point, he is adjusting the bait in his mouth so that he can swallow it head first. He may then swim another short distance and stop again. But once he begins his run with speed? You count to 3 and push up the drag.

 

If you’re fishing circle hooks, there’s no need to “set the hook”. Just coming tight with the fish takes care of that. J hooks do require some winding and setting of the hook. And at this point? He’s either on or gone.

 

Most sailfish jump when hooked but not all. There have been times we’ve fought a fish for 20 to 30 minutes before he presents himself. And if all goes well? You’ll have him boat side in 30 minutes or less. Don’t get anxious when he’s close, this is a critical time to play things smooth and easy. Give him some line if he needs it.

 

We release most Sailfish here in Fort Lauderdale. Even when you see a picture as I have here today, the fish was released and swam away. We have a tube that delivers salt water to the fish as we boat, measure, tag and photograph to keep him happy and healthy. And this way we can help our Fort Lauderdale Sailfish season be great year after year.

 

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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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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Shared Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Shared Fishing Trip

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

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Full Day Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Ryan in fishing

Ryan 1I’d like to introduce you to young Ryan shown standing here holding a couple of the fish he caught today. He was our solo guest on an full day fishing trip. His family became ill the night before and decided not to join him. I call him young because he is beginning his senior year in high school.

 

When Ryan showed up at the dock with his backpack and light tackle spinning rod, I assumed there were more coming and they were just running late. At just 2 minutes before the bridge was to go up, he explained to me it was just him and we were off.

 

It doesn’t matter on any of our trips how many people are there, we always fish as if there were 6 aboard and we sure weren’t going change that for Ryan. Our first stop was to catch some bait at the sea buoy and put that rod he brought to use. The baitfish weren’t biting well and it does take a little to get used to it but in the end we had plenty of bait for our trip and trolling to the north was our next plan.

 

As our all-day fishing trip progressed, I found Ryan to be beyond his 17 years. He was extremely interested in what we did and how we did it. He spent most his time with Adam on deck and each bite brought a thrill as he reeled the fish in. At one point we had rods stacked up waiting for him to finish bringing in a fish so we could hand him another. And as the day went on, we changed our plan and decided to go for BIG!

 

The trolling gear came in and the big rods and baits went out. As it can be in fishing, you have to wait for that bite. The way we fish for big fish can sometimes take a while, the scent of the bait being carried by the current. The fish pick up this scent and follow it to us and with luck, we connect.

 

We’d been at it a while and the sky grew grey. Heavy clouds and wind were coming; a massive thunderstorm south of us was making things tough. That’s when the bite came and a big bite it was too. And this was when things got fun!

 

One angler, one mate and one captain, three rods out, one with a fish and the other two in the way. Adam got Ryan set up and the rod strapped in and began clearing lines as Ryan began his battle. The threatening skies never got us wet and the winds reduced as Ryan worked the fish closer toward the boat. There’s always a little give and take, when the fish gives, you take and as much as you can. When the fish takes, you rest and let the straps hold the rod. You must always be ready to reel though; a fish can change directions in a micro-second.

 

Finally, after 30 minutes or so, we could see color down deep and the fish kept inching closer. A large Hammerhead shark had eaten our bait and was growing tired, as was Ryan. He never complained, never faltered and his excitement was easily seen as he saw what he had landed.

Ryan 2

Pictures were taken and the measuring done for this trophy sized fish before it was released into the sea with the tag in place. These tags allow the Taxidermist to communicate with the anglers this fish’s location the next time it is caught, a very cool program.

 

We headed home catching a few fish along the way and I have to say I very much enjoyed my full day fishing trip with young Ryan. I even found out what Pokemon go is. LOL He doesn’t play but explained it to me, usually my daughter’s job.

 

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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Swordfish Trip Lands Thresher Shark

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charters

No matter how well you plan a fishing trip it doesn’t always work out the way you might think. While most trips aren’t set for a specific fish, our Swordfish fishing trips kind of are. Swordfish are the target as to the distance we have to travel to get to the grounds. But there are plenty of other fish along the way.

Our nighttime trips are pretty much just Swordfish as we travel out as the sun sets. But the daytime trips can offer Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna and Marlin on the way to the grounds. It is also nice to be able to see the fish you’re catching whether you are bringing him up from depth or having him strike from the surface. Daneane got to see her fish coming in, a Dolphin weighing about 8 lbs.

Once we reached the Swordfish grounds, our first drop got no attention. Fishing in such deep water on the bottom poses all kinds of problems and it takes touch to know your bait is in the right position. Our electric reel tells us how much line is out and that first drop had over 2500’. We gave it 45 minutes, retrieved it and reset a little deeper.

The second drop was down about 30 minutes when a bump was felt. With all that line out, that’s about all you see too, just a bump. Was he there? Had he eaten? Sean began bringing the bait up and it slowed a few times, even took a little drag out. I think we’ve got one!!!

You may think pushing a button is easy to reel a fish in but the only thing different about it is you’re not winding the reel, a motor is. You still have to fight the fish. When he pulls, you have to ease off and when he’s coming at you, you have to be on him, ready to change in a flash. And then our fish did his run…

The counter was now at almost 5,000’ of line out and we were dealing with about 3 knots of current. This fish was also pulling much harder than most swordfish which meant either he was a huge one, foul hooked or maybe something else. We would find out just over an hour later.

The weight was up and off now and we still had over 150’ of line out, all leader now. Slowly the line kept retrieving and finally some color was seen. It took another few minutes before we could identify our Thresher shark and realize he was foul hooked in the dorsal fin.

ThresherThreshers have an unusually long tail that they use to strike their prey. A swift flick can stun almost any fish and they can use it with a high degree of accuracy. It’s not uncommon to bring these fish in backwards by the tail but with this fish hooked in the top of the dorsal, we were bringing him up sideways from over 1800’ of water. He measured out at 128”. In the picture, that’s Sean holding the tail…

There are 2 kinds of Thresher sharks, the Big Eye and Small Eye. Big Eye Threshers are protected by law and this fish was released, the hook still in him and will bare him no harm. After all, piercings are in these days to some…

So while we did not catch a Sword this trip, there were no unhappy faces aboard as we watched this fish swim lazily away and down. And a fine dinner was provided by the Dolphin in the box.

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Dolphin Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Mahi Mahi Fish

Dolphin fishing off Fort Lauderdale hasn’t been great the last few years but this year but this year has been different. Summertime fishing used to be mostly fishing for Dolphin out in the deep, it was their time. These last few years saw the Dolphin coming much later in September, October and even later toward winter.

But this year we’ve had some good luck anywhere from 4 to 15 miles from shore as it was on out trip the other day.
Gerard, from Chicago, brought his group of three boys out for an all day trip. As we began at the reef trolling in hopes of a few Kings or Bonitos, Gerard made it clear he’s much rather be out in the deep looking for some Mahi-mahi. We had all day and some reports were finding some weed so why not? And off we went. While the big line was about 14 off, we started finding some nice patches around 8 miles off the beach. Our first big patch had us slow down and put the gear out and a bite came right away! But getting the boys up was a struggle, apparently they had been up late and we ended up missing that fish. Fear not, more were to come. Another pass got us a nice sized Blackfin Tuna and then 6 or so small Dolphin but only one keeper. Still the action was welcome.

We continued on searching patch after patch. It seemed we never went more than 15 or 20 minutes without getting a hit. Some were so small, they had to be tossed back but our fish box was getting fuller with each new patch of weed. A small Wahoo was also caught from under a crate we found.

While we still had some time, the boys had had it and we headed in a little early. We ended up with 8 or so keepers out of 25 or 30, the biggest being about12 pounds or so, the small Wahoo, the nice sized Tuna and a few Bonitos we’d caught before coming out. I’d thought Gerard was ready to cook up a feast but he said he just wanted to catch them and Darin and I reaped the reward. Had the Mahi last night for dinner by the way, it was excellent! Tuna tonight!

We’ve had a few trips like this lately. Because of the distance from shore, a 6 hour trip is the minimum and all days are better. But once you find the fish? The Dolphin fishing is great action! And so good to eat…

Captain Steve

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Fanntastic Fishing Summertime Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

Girls fishing trip

With summertime in full swing these days, Fanntastic Fishing is seeing more kids on board our fishing trips. Long days and no school bring the local, as well as the tourist, families out in droves. And the GREAT thing about fishing with kids is their excitement over each and every fish that is caught.

Summertime fishing brings the Bonitos to our area. Not great table fare for sure, but excellent fighters and plentiful. It’s not unusual to catch a dozen or so of these fish fairly quickly and usually more than one on at a time. The early morning and late afternoons will have them attacking the tops baits. As the day wears on, they move deeper and hit the deep lines when trolling.

The Kingfish are also plentiful this time of year, if the Bonitos will allow them to get a bait or two. They range in the 8 to 10 lbs. class but some bigger ones can be caught on both dead and live bait. They don’t pull quite as hard as the Bonitos but can be eaten. The smaller the better and always should be eaten fresh, within a few days.

Since trolling is our norm this time of year, wahoo, Dolphin and the occasional Sailfish are also possible. When the clean ocean waters come close to shore, these fish can be had just a few miles off the beach. Venturing further can be advantageous if you can find weed lines or floating debris. These offer the fish off shore a floating reef for protection. The Dolphin are generally small this time of year and many don’t meet the minimum requirements. But Dolphin are the fastest growing fish in the ocean and today’s throwbacks are tomorrows keepers.

Our larger game fish like sharks are becoming more and more scarce. Evening trips are the best time for these fish and can be found in shallow waters not far from shore once the sun goes down. But this is fishing and there’s always a chance during the day for a Hammerhead, Thresher, Dusky, Sandbar or Bull shark.

Bottom fishing has been productive with small Snapper and Grey Tilefish. It takes a lot of cranking to catch these fish in 300-400’ of water but you bring them up in numbers, usually 3 to 5 each time. The days that only one comes up makes it a little tough but the meal at the end is worth it. And there’s always a chance for a Grouper to pass by and bite.

The picture I chose of this young girl was our trip the other day. The kids were young and did struggle with the rods but she beat her brother and cousins by claiming the largest fish caught. This Kingfish was more than enough to feed the entire family and was cleaned and taken to the restaurant next door for dinner. The rest of the fish that were caught were left for bait. The Bonitos provide us with strip baits we use throughout the year for trolling.

Summertime fishing trips at Fanntastic Fishing can be loads of fun, especially for the kids. Bring lots of water… It’s hot out there, but not as hot as shore.

Captain Steve

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