Posts Tagged "Fort Lauderdale"

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

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

Posted on by Captain Steve

This is a GREAT time of year to be offshore of Fort Lauderdale fishing. You just don’t know what will bite. With all the bait migrating through the area and heading south down the coast, any species of fish can be present and give you a bite. As a friend of mine says, this is where opportunity meets preparedness!

Perhaps it is dinner you are after. Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna and more can be caught close to shore. Kingfish and Bonitos are always around to some degree and that Sailfish can make his presence known.

While many of the boats are starting to use live bait, I still prefer trolling. You cover more ground and even a quarter of a mile can make the difference between action and no action.

There is nothing more exciting than watching a Sailfish come up and make a pass or swat at one of your baits. Or seeing a Dolphin come in from 150 yards away, pulling a head wake, and charging one of your baits.

If the trolling isn’t producing, we shake things up with some kite fishing. Sometimes live bait will entice a bite when the trolling gear won’t. You can also hit the deep an shallow wrecks for some action on dead or live bait.

While I mostly do the sport fishing end of things, even our drift boat gets into the action. The picture above shows a Sail caught by one of our regular customers on our drift fishing boat. He also caught a nice Mutton Snapper that day.

No matter which type of fishing you choose, be it sport or drift, it is a great time of year to be off the coast of Fort Lauderdale fishing!

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

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.

Offshore

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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Tiger Shark Makes The Day

Posted on by Captain Steve

With the kids back in school, at least here. Fort Lauderdale, we enter our slow down season. That’s as far as the business end of things, the fishing still goes on. LOL

Kingfish and Bonitos are being caught in the area of the reef close to shore. Trolling has been the best way to catch them and a few have been on the large size. Very unusual for this time of year. We will continue to catch Bonitos for a bit longer and as always, Tuna can be mixed in with those schools

But as we enter September and October, things begin to change. Tuna and Wahoo become much more frequent and the big bomber Bonitos leave us. Their offspring becoming our bullets or baby Bonitos and an excellent type of live bait. These baits will attract large Wahoo, Kings and Sailfish in just a few weeks.

Bottom fishing has been good with the deep wrecks and reefs providing us with some nice snappers of various types. The drift boat has been doing well on the anchor trip which targets these species.

But what has been very unusual time of year has been some of the exotic sharks being caught. While summertime usually leaves us with Bull and Sandbar sharks, Threshers and even a big Tiger shark have been caught.

Tiger sharks have a nasty disposition and are never docile when next to the boat, so getting a good picture of them can be tough. In the picture I posted, you can see the spots very faintly. This fish was tired after the battle and they lose their color in that state. When excited or fresh, these spots are much brighter and more predominant. I won’t begin the discussion of why these weren’t called Leopard sharks… LOL

Anyway, that’s been our fishing here off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Wahoo, Tuna and soon Mahi-mahi are all coming soon. Hope to see you…

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

We are about to enter August, one of the hottest times of year down here in south Florida. Although the Fort Lauderdale fishing report would tell you June and July were not exactly cool.

With sea temperatures in the mid to high 80’s and the air in the low to mid 90’s, that sea breeze that comes up around 11 am or so is very welcome. Many places that are sweltering through the Midwest and up north don’t get that relief.

With the higher sea temperatures, the fish prefer to be deeper in the water column. Just 5’ down changes the temperature by a few degrees. Get down 40-50’ and the temperature drops considerably more. The pelagic fish that migrate by our coast, like Kings, Bonitos, Tuna and Wahoo, prefer the cooler, deeper water. The early morning and late afternoon can produce bites from these fish on the surface. But mid-day, the bite is usually on the deep lines.

With that said, both the sport and drift fishing boats have been doing well with fishing the bottom for snappers, groupers, Amberjacks and other deep-water fish. Vermilion, Mutton and Yellowtail can be caught day or night. Mangrove prefer the evening and night bite.

Today’s photo is a friend of mine. I had no idea she was fishing on one of the boats. She is always animated and very excited at anything new. Catching this Vermilion snapper was her first! I received a text and picture immediately.

Vermilion snappers don’t get very big but when you do catch them, they usually come up 2 or 3 at a time. And they are quite tasty!

Well that’s my Fort Lauderdale fishing report for this week. Just know we are catching fish and having a great time doing it.

Capt. Steve

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Summer Snapper

Posted on by Captain Steve

Now that the 4th of July has passed and my dog is out from under the bed, it’s time for summer snapper. While we fish for them the entire year-round, this time of year off Fort Lauderdale is when you can reap a nice harvest!

On the sport fishing boats, trolling is still a mainstay in catching fish. Kings and Bonitos are in the reef area as well as the occasional Sailfish or Tuna. But when it comes time to put some big baits out, the bottom, or entertainment rod as we call it, also comes out. We will concentrate our efforts in areas that snapper inhabit, and many times end up with our limit. Vermilions and Yelloweyes are found in deeper waters. Yellowtails and Muttons are found on the shallow wrecks.

On the drift boat it all depends on the conditions. Fast moving current can move the boat across a spot quickly. Too quickly for the smaller spots. This forces the boats into shallow waters and Lane snappers along with the occasional Yellowtail or Mutton are also caught.

But if the current is not too strong, the deeper spots come into play. The picture above is a recent day on our drift fishing boat, the Lois Ann. Conditions were great for this spot and some nice sized Vermilions were taken. While the bite and conditions change day to day, you can see things can get pretty busy.

So if you live in the area or are planning a trip to Fort Lauderdale soon, get out there and get some of these summer snapper. You just never know what else might come on your line…

Capt. Steve

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Sailfish Season

Posted on by Captain Steve

We are often asked “when is Sailfish season” by customers calling to book. While there are certain months that are better than others, we can catch Sailfish at any time of the year here off Fort Lauderdale.

In the summer months, we spend much of our time trolling. Tuna, Kingfish, Bonito, Dolphin and Wahoo are our main targets. But other species will eat our trolling baits aas well.

When we have had lots of rain, as we have recently, most of those bites come from our deep lines. Anywhere from 30 to 50’ below the surface seems to be the right depth. Catching a Sailfish on the deeper baits does rob you of some of the thrill.

But when they strike a surface bait? That’s my favorite, though I often miss those with my eyes. I do have to look forward occasionally. LOL You know, other boats and things like that.

The great thing about the surface bite is the attack. Some Sailfish strike with a vengeance, they just pile on. Others are more cautious, stalking behind the bait, watching and waiting for an opportunity to strike. When they decide, their bill comes up and they begin slashing at the bait.

Strip baits work well, with some artificial bling in front of them. Sailfish will come back time and again, maybe8 or 10 times if you are lucky. But each time, they stretch the strip bait to a point it’s too long. Better hook them before that!

The most attractive trolling bait is rigged Ballyhoo. But you only get a few shots before the bait is decimated from the attack.

So keep your eyes peeled out the back. You aren’t driving… And maybe Sailfish season will come for you in the middle of summer.

Capt. Steve

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Father’s Day Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

So, what’s the deal? Is Father’s Day fishing the only day dad can get out on the water and catch a few? LOL While it is generally about dad, this year’s Father’s Day fishing was also about some young sons. Even a few daughters.

We were very busy over the weekend even though the forecast was kind of gloomy. But the attitude seemed to be that since the fish were already wet, why not…

The fishing has been pretty good, and it didn’t fail us Father’s Day weekend. Kingfish and Bonitos have been providing good action on both the drift and sport fishing boats. A few Tuna are mixed in with the Bonitos and that’s always a nice surprise.

For those on the drift fishing boat that bothered to drop to the bottom? Mutton, Yellowtail and Vermillion snapper made up a nice catch each trip.

Our sport boat was also working some of the shallow wrecks and reefs we have and as I said, it’s also about the kids on dad’s day. Check out this monster Barracuda caught by this young angler! Isn’t it great when you’re young and short? You can say you caught a fish bigger than you! And it’s true… Well, it was. LOL

Father’s Day fishing was a blast but no reason to wait for the day to come around again. They are biting right now.

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Forecast

Posted on by Captain Steve

With the weather we have been having here in south Florida, the Fort Lauderdale fishing forecast is somewhat easy. Weather-wise, hot temperatures and afternoon showers are the standard. I’ve often wondered if the TV weather people have 3 dart boards… One for the low, somewhere between 78 and 85, another for the high, between 88 and 98 and a third for chance of rain. Each day the forecast changes are minor. And those thunderstorms are short lived…

With that said, the fishing trends also become somewhat predictable. The hot temperatures raise the sea temps, creating a thermocline. Fish, being cold blooded, don’t care for abrupt changes and will stay below these lines as a rule. One thermocline is usually 5 to 8’ below the surface, a second one can be anywhere from 20’ down to 60’, usually ranging around 35 or 40’.

This brings our deeper baits into play. And while any fish can be caught with a bait below the surface, Kingfish, Bonitos, Tuna’s and Wahoo are the most frequent. There are days we go without a single bite on our surface rods, the deep lines and baits doing all the work.

These deeper lines can also catch Sailfish, Mahi-mahi, even Grouper and Snapper if set deep enough. As a friend of mine used to say, there are no fences in the ocean.

As we move further from shore, the tide water that carries the fresh water from rain thins out and we just have to deal with the thermoclines. And while there are no fences, these create barriers of a sort. Fish run along these lines, on one side or the other. Fishing the baits around these lines can and will produce bites. Those Sailfish and Dolphin we spoke of are much more aggressive in the cleaner water. The surface baits play a much larger part.

It’s all about fishing and catching. This time of year, quantity and number of fish keep our guests happy. Will save the stories and jokes for the slower times…

Capt. Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Every few days I write a Fort Lauderdale fishing report. While the trend of fishing may be the same, each day is different. We never know, only hope, that THIS day will be that one when a BIG fish or something special for one of our customers piles onto the hook and line. As a captain doing this for many years? I know it can happen on each and every day. The question is, will today be one of those?

With that said we’ve been having some good fishing lately. Trolling in the reef area has been producing some Kingfish for table fare and lots of Bonitos for something to bend the rod. There have been days that we stop catching them, or try, at our guests’ request. LOL It has been warmer than usual out and they get worn out reeling in fish!

Sometimes, all that work turns out to be worth it, as in the picture above. Occasionally, Blackfin Tuna or other species of Tuna get mixed in with the schools of Bonitos. They are similar and schooling offers protection. Separated from their kind, they will blend in with another group and you end up with a nice Blackfin Tuna like this young man did in the picture above. While it is a surprise, it’s not unexpected at this time of year.

Another fish that may surprise you is a Sailfish. We catch them year round and they can be anywhere from 20’ of water out to 5 or 10 miles from shore. You just never know, the next Sail could be yours…

Capt. Steve

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