When the nighttime anchor snapper trip comes in with a catch like this? I just have to post the picture… Captain Jen, her mate Dominic and the 10 passengers had a great time with the action last night. While the evening trip has been very slow for customers, especially during the week, you can see the group reaped the rewards of a great night of fishing.
Daytime fishing on the Drift fishing boat has been a mixed bag, as have the sport fishing boats. The drift boat is usually in the area of the reef and a variety of species have been biting. A variety of snappers, a few Grouper, Porgy’s and other reef fish have been giving us some action. Vertical jigs have been producing some good Tuna bites in the deeper water where we catch Vermillion Snappers. Kingfish and Bonito round out the catch.
Sport fishing has been a bit different. Kings and Bonito have been in the reef area with decent sized Tuna out a bit deeper. Mahi-mahi have been biting on and off in recent days. You can find them one and the next they are nowhere to be found. A 6 or 8 hour trip is best if Dolphin is your targeted species.
We have also been seeing and catching some Sailfish on the troll. This time of year is very good for catching these gamefish while trolling. In the weeks to come, we’ll be switching to live bait to taget these. No matter how you hook them, they are always a ball to catch!
That’s about all for today. We have a few Swordfish trips coming up next week that we are very much looking forward to. Check back and see how we do.
August in Fort Lauderdale is hot… The weather usually reaching the lows 90’s by late morning we are thankful for the sea breeze that finally comes along, though there is no wind chill for 90 degrees…
As for the fishing here in Ft. Lauderdale,
if you want action, this can be one of the best times of year to bend the rod. The
action is usually steady with the fish on the reef biting every few minutes.
Summertime means Bonitos and a lot of them. These fierce
fighters are of poor eating quality but a blast to catch, especially on light
tackle. They will hit the top baits early morning and late afternoon, but as
the water warms, retreat to deeper water and be caught on the deep lines. It is
not unusual to catch multiple fish at one time, a sort of “Chinese fire drill”
as most lines go down with bites from these fish.
Kingfish are also a main summertime player, being caught
mostly on the deep lines throughout the day. They average 6 to 10 pounds with a
few bigger fish being caught. The smaller fish are the best for eating if eaten
fresh as these fish do not freeze well. They can be frozen if they are to be
As we fish for these fish on the reef, we also encounter a
few Sailfish from time to time. While not the numbers we get in the winter,
Sailfish are in our area almost year-round to some degree. Blackfin Tuna also
can be caught as they travel in small numbers with the Bonitos that are here.
Both these species will diminish in another month only to reappear in October
when we start all over again.
With all this activity going on so close to shore, it only
stands to reason that predators be close by to take advantage of the situation.
The picture attached to this report shows a family from yesterday. They spent 5
hours fishing with forty minutes of that time involved catching and releasing a
105” Bull Shark as represented by the flag being held. Missing from the photo
are a few Kingfish that were used for bait, as well as the Captain and Mate
whom were taking the pictures. They really didn’t need us in their picture
There are times we venture from trolling the reef to fishing
the bottom, just to change things up a bit. Mutton Snapper, Amberjack and even
some Grouper can be caught on both the shallow and deeper wrecks and artificial
As we venture away from the reef and head offshore, fishing
has been erratic to say the least. Dolphin (Mahi-mahi), a normal player in our
summertime fishing, has not been biting well. Some serious good luck has been
needed to find these fish this year. The boys we had on just a few weeks ago
had that serious good luck with them and caught a nice 23 pounder so it does
pay to get out there and give it a try.
As we head offshore further, we get to the Swordfish
grounds. The bite has been off for the last month or so, with mostly smaller
fish being caught when the bite comes. As with all fishing, you just never
Well, that’s it for August. Plenty of action and fish here
off Fort Lauderdale’s
shore. So, in the immortal words of Jimmy Buffet…
This is the time of year Florida folks long for… When a cold
front pushes through our area. The oppressive heat lowers as does the humidity
and we stop complaining about how hot it is and begin complaining how cold it
Being from Chicago, I call these “cool” fronts. As we relish
temps in the 60-70’s, we also dig out our jeans, sweaters, jackets and gloves.
Being a resident here for over 50 years now, I join those folks shivering on a
early morning in the low 60’s.
What does this have to do with a fishing report you ask?
Well, just as we change our clothes to endure, the fish must change their
location to stay comfy. They do this by migrating south and Fort Lauderdale
just happens to be right in a spot they pass by.
The Continental shelf lies just off our coast. With the Gulf
Stream being miles off our shore with its north current, the fish move inside
close to the coast to make their trip. And with each “cool” front that comes through,
the temperatures in the water dip a little cooler. Welcome to our version of
I-95 for fish!
Our catches change from mostly edible fish to game and sport
fish. Sailfish and sharks are the top catches with other species mixed in. Most
Mahi’s caught this time of year don’t have to be measured, they far exceed the
legal minimum. Tuna become more prolific and Wahoo are also around. They like
Tuna too. LOL
So at this time of year as you visit from somewhere up
north, don’t be surprised at the clothes we might be wearing as you show up for
your fishing trip with shorts and a T. There is a chance of filling the box
with just one fish! And that’s saying something… LOL
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.
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
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.
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…
Lauderdale fishing. Get ready for some bigger game fish!
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
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
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.
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
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
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…
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
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.
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…