Posts Tagged "Fishing"

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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September Fishing Forecast

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingWith Labor Day upon us and the threat of what became hurricane Hermine now gone, we can look forward to the September fishing forecast in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida. September is a month of change as the waters here cool off shore and the migration of Mullet begin to move down our shores.


The Mullet run is one of the most visible signs you will ever see. Easily seen from the beach, large schools of these bait fish can be found swimming south just off our shores. Ranging from the small finger mullet to full grown, they move slowly along the coast and through the canals. A look of “nervous” water above them and a dark shade from the school itself, they fill the inlets and waterways. Tarpon, Barracuda and other predators disturb the school and large splashes can be seen when they are being chased.


While this is highly visible, other bait fish are also making their move south and this brings new food and migrating fish into our area. Mid to late September is when it begins and will run through most of October. Kingfish, Wahoo and Sailfish will be among the fish that will be enjoying the feast and we’ll be there to greet them.


It’s been all smiles on the sport fishing boats with the Bonitos keeping us entertained. We’ve also been doing well with Small Vermillion Snapper on the bottom. They don’t get very big but when you can bring them up 2 and 3 at a time, it’s a tasty meal. There is always that chance of a Grouper or 2, Snowy’s have been biting in the deep waters. It is a lot of winding though, most are in 300-400’ of water!


A couple of happy campers here holding some of their catch and that is ALWAYS our hope on each and every fishing trip.


Captain Steve

Posted in Kids Fishing, Sport, Uncategorized

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingOne of the great things about Fort Lauderdale fishing is the variety of fish that can be caught just a few miles from shore. The fish can range from just a few inches, which serve some of our younger anglers well, to the large sharks and Swordfish and everything in between. While the Swords are usually caught further off the coast, I have seen and caught them in close to shore, there is no reason they can’t be there.


This week Fort Lauderdale fishing slowed a bit. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still catching fish, we just have to work at it a bit more. The Bonitos we depend on for action and strip baits have been coming in waves, one day here the next; they are not in any numbers. Being “covered up” with one of these on all the lines out can be a blast, unless you only have 1 or 2 anglers. Then it is a sort of Chinese fire drill…


Kingfish fishing is getting better with some nice sized Kings being found in deeper than usual waters. Normally in 80 to 150’, we’ve been catching 10-15 lbs. in 180 to 300’. Perhaps they are trying to escape the heat? Small Blackfin Tuna have also been caught in these depths.


Today we had young Colin here on board, 11 I think. It had been his birthday and his aunt, Kalie, brought him fishing. He was thrilled with the Barracuda and those teeth! Always an impressive catch, there have been lots of Barracudas around while trolling. Most have been small and somewhat of a nuisance as they destroy a rigged bait when they hit. As they get bigger, they often jump when hooked. It is always a thrill when a fish does that.

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

He also had the pleasure, maybe not the best word to describe his hard work, of catching large Amberjack. He is all smiles in the picture after but lots of grunting was heard as he handled one of the big reels and rods.


So while Fort Lauderdale fishing hasn’t been great, we are still providing smiles for our guests. We’ll see how we do tonight on the Swordfish trip. At least it will be cool…


Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

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Fort Lauderdale Family Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Family Fishing

Fort Lauderdale Family Fishing

Getting the kids out fishing before school starts has been popular as of late. Fort Lauderdale family fishing has been booming! Whether it is a last vacation before going home or the locals here, kids seem to be on most our trips lately.


Luckily for us, kids are easy to please and the action has been good. The reef area has been plentiful with Bonitos, a hard fighting fish not very good to eat but certainly fun to catch. Kingfish have also been adding to the filling of the box, as have Barracudas. Most of the Barracudas are small but still impressive with their almost canine looking teeth. The bigger ones make very impressive trophies.


Out trip yesterday consisted of Alex, the dad, his son and daughter and their kids. 3 little guys with so much energy, ages 3 to 5. The morning seas had a slight chop to them so for this afternoon trip, we opted to catch some small fish for our small guys. A trip to an inside marker with some chum and bait rods did the trick and the boys caught 20 or so fish in a matter of 40 minutes.


The seas had relaxed some and never affected the kids. We did some big game fishing, striking out in 2 spots with the “big ones” but caught a handful of nice sized snappers.


Another family outing was the day before with Adam and Angie from Texas. Their 3 kids rounded out our trip and we had a ball with what the fish gods offered. I was surprised when “dad” jumped in the chair first and caught a very small Bonito. Everybody knows, women and kids first… LOL


None the less, it was great catching fish with these guys. My favorite angler of the group turned out to be mom. The great thing about women anglers is they listen. Being multi-taskers, they can also wind and listen to instructions without stopping, most men stop to hear, Just an observation on my part. Angie had so much fun winding in fish, she’d be laughing as she wound her fish in. We again struck out with something big but it didn’t matter. As you can see from the picture, they all had a great time.

So whether you are from here or abroad, your Fort Lauderdale family fishing trip is waiting. But if you don’t hurry, you’ll have to wait for Christmas break.


Thanks for reading.

Captain Steve

Posted in Kids Fishing, Sport

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Kids Make Happy Customers

Posted on by Captain Steve

Happy Kids

Happy KidsEach time I take a family with kids, or maybe a birthday party for a kid, I know we’re going to have a good trip. The reason is kids don’t care what you catch or how big it is. They aren’t concerned with whether you can eat it or not. From the smallest Bonito and Blue Runner to micro Dolphin, they are excited each time the rod bends and the reel sings. The more, the merrier.


Summertime is perfect for those family outings and parties. Close to shore all kinds of fish are in good numbers. Bonito, Kingfish, Barracuda (always a favorite), Wahoo and Tuna can all be found in close to shore right now. Trolling for these fish not only produces the most hits but also creates a breeze. With temperatures in the low 90’s almost every day, that breeze is welcome, believe me. And that is what is going on right now here in Fort Lauderdale just off the shore.


Summertime is also a great time of year for an evening Swordfish Trip. Light winds and cooler temperatures at night make for comfortable settings as we head off shore 12 to 14 miles to the Swordfish grounds. There is always some fishing on the way out before setting our big lines and the chance at Dolphin, though Dolphin fishing hasn’t been great these last few days, widely scattered and on the small size, too small to keep at times. The 8 hour trip is a bit long for the kids unless they are really into fishing.


The photo attached is from a recent afternoon trip and we all had a ball. But it is back at the dock where everyone is smiling that makes me the happiest. Proud of their recent catch and not afraid to touch or hold their fish. Well, sometimes it’s a little yucky… But not with this group. LOL


Captain Steve

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Best Time To Fish

Posted on by Captain Steve

Happy Fisherman


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.


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

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized


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.


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.


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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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


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


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.


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

Posted in Kids Fishing, Sport, Uncategorized

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Fishing with Kites

Posted on by Captain Steve

Kite Fishing

We talk about kite fishing in our fishing reports and to our guests at certain times a year. Many first timers have never seen it done and have no idea why it is so productive with certain species of fish so I thought I’d take a moment to explain the art of kite fishing.

To begin we have to look at nature and how animals eat. Most land based animals chase their prey down. Speed and agility are what allow them to catch prey and, of course, prey has the ability to escape. Some burrow in tunnels, some have tremendous speed and others might have armor or the ability to bite back, always a deterrent. Those that can escape by flying up or beneath the surface of the land have the best shot at living another day.

When fish are looking for food, they see up toward the surface. Bait fish are silhouetted by the light of day and are easily seen from below. Most fish chase the bait fish to the surface where escape must be done with moves right, left or speed straight ahead. By chasing a school of bait fish, the weak fall behind and are singled out, just as predators do on land with herds of animals.

So, now that we have shown that fish prefer to eat up near the surface of the water, here is where fishing with kites comes into play. We’ll just go ahead and create the perfect eating position for a fish by dangling a bait fish on the surface. Here it is… come and get it!

We happen to use two kites at a time usually, allowing us to present more baits for more opportunities. The kite is launched from the flybridge on its own rod and reel.  Clips similar to our outrigger clips are placed on the kite line in various ways and spaces and the kite is sent out away from the boat with a fishing line and bait that is also taken away from the boat. These clips are spring loaded and the tension is set so that when a fish eats the bait, the clip releases and the kite stays in the air. The fishing line also has the ability to slide through the clip so we can feed the fish without any kind of tension or pressure being felt by the fish.

Sailfish Caught On The Kite

Since our kites are essentially sky hooks and we’re dangling our baits on the surface, virtually no tackle is in the water for the fish to see. The bait fish is aware he is in a bad, unprotected place and constantly tries to swim deeper into the water where he has a chance to escape. That struggle sends out vibrations that predators feel, just like we hear, and they are attracted to investigate.

One of the great things about kite fishing is you usually get to see the bite when a fish comes along. Sailfish are usually quite obvious as they appear from the side or below the bait. Mahi-mahi are also quite easily seen streaking across the surface toward the bait. Fish like Tuna, Kingfish and a few others feed by accelerating toward the surface from beneath and are rarely seen before they make a splash at the bait’s position.

Bill's Sail

Depending on the type of fish eating, the line is either paid out to allow time for the fish to eat, or in some cases, the line is made tight to set the hook quickly. The boat is put in gear to help get some of the slack out, it does go all the way up to the kite line and back to the surface, and with luck, the hook is set, the clip releases the line and the angler is now tight with his fish.

Since fish like Sailfish and Mahi-mahi usually travel in groups, leaving the rest of the spread out can mean more hook ups. And of course, pitching baits from the boat aids this as well.

Sail Jump

While kite fishing is mainly done for catching Sailfish, almost any fish can be caught by this method. Live bait is best but dead bait can also be used. Sailfish have a very high rate of success fishing this way, around 80% or better. Other species, like Kingfish, have a lower rate of success, somewhere around 50%. It’s usually the smaller fish that escape.

While fishing with kites does have its advantages, there are disadvantages as well, but only a few with the main one being mobility. You are somewhat limited to where you can go with the baits up in the kites. Short of reeling everything in and re-setting, mobility is dependent on wind and current. So instead of finding the fish, you attract them to you. Other things we do aid this but… we can’t give all our secrets.

So now you have an idea of what the fishing kites do and how they work. In the winter months, our best time of year for fishing for Sailfish, you may be asked if you want to buy live bait. At least now you’ll know how they are used.

One thing about fishing is… It never works out well for the bait.

Captain Steve

Posted in Fishing Techniques and Tips

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