Posts Tagged "Fort Lauderdale"

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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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Is Great

Posted on by Captain Steve

Kingfish

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.

Kingfish

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

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Sandbar Shark Makes Fishing Day

Posted on by Captain Steve

Sandbar fishing

SandbarIt is not always that people that fish with us here in Fort Lauderdale want to catch something big. Many times they just want fish and the focus is not on something large. But when Tom and Brian showed up at the dock early today, their goal was hoping to catch a shark… A BIG shark! And with a 6 hour trip ahead of us, we felt we had time to a little regular fishing as well as target something big.

 

With light winds and only a slight chop on the seas, we ventured out to find some green water as far as the eye could see. Not a bad color water for Tuna, Kingfish or shark, but not great for Dolphin. We spent our first few hours trolling and caught some Kings and small Bonitos on the reef area fairly close to shore. With a limit of only 2 per person, our Kingfish limit was reached and we ventured out to where the big ones are.

 

This is where patience is important… You usually have to wait for your bite and after deploying our baits? We waited and waited… And waited… The light current today was not helping our quest. The current carries the scent and predators down current pick this up and follow it to our baits. And after over 2 hours of this, we were running out of time.

 

I have to commend both Tom and Brian. They were quite content with what we had already caught and were willing to tough it out. Go big or go home. Their perseverance paid off.

 

Our bottom rod took a big bounce, relaxed and then doubled over as line peeled off. It takes a mere second to go from waiting to action and now we had other baits to clear before the fight began. With Brian in the big chair, he began following first mate Adam’s instructions as I kept the boat over the fish. At times, we couldn’t budge this stubborn fish that had yet to be identified, other times we were able to retrieve some line, only to lose it again as the fish kept peeling line on his runs.

 

It took Brian about 30 minutes to get the fish close enough to the boat for our first sighting which didn’t last long, the fish took off and was deep again. We knew it was a shark, just not sure what kind. Another 10 minutes and he was back at the boat and finally under our control  to be boated, measured, tagged and released… Sandbar Sharks are protected.

 

I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is to see a customer so excited about his catch. The picture tells the story as Adam holds the shark’s mouth open and Brian in the back. We opened the transom door and the fish literally swam out the back of the boat and into the water. He wasted no time in leaving our area

 

Thanks To and Brian for your attitude in what we do. You make our job easy.

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Kids Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Kids go fishing!

For this fishing report for the Fort Lauderdale area, I’d like to talk a bit about size and kids. I am always asked “what’s the biggest fish I’ve caught”? Truth be told, I hope I haven’t caught my biggest yet and many of my customers have caught larger fish than I have. After all, how would people feel if I were catching their fish?

June 1 report

A recent trip with these 2 young boys had me reflecting on this very question. One great thing about kids is that they get excited no matter what size the fish is. They needed help in reeling the fish in, even complaining they couldn’t do it anymore to which Robert and Sean prompted them on. A hand was added to the handle to help land the fish they caught. They felt pride and excitement even though they needed help at their new BIGGEST fish! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what keeps me coming back to work each day.

So… what’s YOUR biggest fish? It doesn’t really matter if you’re young or old. Size is relative to your size and what you’ve caught in the past. Maybe that’s why kids are so easy to please.

As for what we’ve been catching? Small Blackfin Tuna with some really nice, big ones have been biting. Kingfish on the reef with Bonitos mixed in and each day we hope for Dolphin, but they have been coming and going with no regular schedule. Fishing for sharks has slowed but if you reel your fish in too slowly, you stand a chance to lose it to a shark so they are still around.

The main thing is we’re catching fish and having fun doing it. And that’s all for now for the Fort Lauderdale area and this fishing report.

Captain Steve

 

 

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Shark Sailfish Dolphin Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charters

With April almost upon us we look forward to spring fishing here off Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Florida. But our winter has been pretty good compared to the last 3 years with a mix of some Shark, Sailfish and Dolphin activity.

While the winter time is our most productive time of year for Sailfish, this year was better than recent years. Not in the numbers we like to see and certainly not consistent but we’ve had a good showing, especially recently. At this point in time, we’ll be seeing these fish moving both directions in their migration patterns as opposed to south in the winter. Believe me, there’s nothing more exciting that getting one of these on your line, even for guys like me who have been doing this for years!

I chose this picture of the Sailfish because it shows the entire fish. This particular fish was 87”. If you look closely, you’ll see a clear tube which feeds the fish we boat seawater to help them survive as we measure and tag them before their release. Preserving our fishery is very important to us and we do this with most boated game and sport fish.

April also brings some Shark activity. To this point we have had some good results when trying for something big but that’s going to improve, it always does, Thresher, Hammerhead, Bull, Sandbar, Tiger and Dusky Sharks just to name a few. It is this time of year that landing any other fish becomes difficult because of the predators eating your catch before you can land it. Reel quickly or you might end up with just the head of a fish on your line…

Dolphin are generally caught in the late spring and early summer but this year we’ve had good to excellent results through the winter. A trip just the other day produced a nice catch of some schoolie Dolphin and a few big ones to round out the field. Usually when a catch like this happens, it all happens at once but this day offered bite after bite with the fish hitting in pairs. Most the fish were in the 6 to 8 lbs. range with a few in the low teens to round things out. We had to almost force them to take a few to a local restaurant to be prepared but the rest? Well, my wife has a killer recipe for Dolphin… 

The weather is warming, the fish are on the move and things are heating up toward some excellent fishing. Sharks, Sailfish and Dolphin are just the tip of the iceberg but certainly part of the main group. It gets easy writing fishing reports this time of year…

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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Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Rosies fishing trip

It has been a few weeks since I’ve written a fishing report for the area off of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida. And in this time, we’ve seen some great fishing and some not so great fishing. But that’s fishing! LOL

With generally calm seas and light winds this area has been saturated with seaweed. Sargassum is a branchy type seaweed and is home to all kinds of small creatures like brine shrimp and other small species that provide food to bait fish which… attracts larger fish like Dolphin. While the weed has been so thick it is almost impossible to fish through, it has offered us some of the best Dolphin fishing we’ve had all year.

Many of the fish have been small and were thrown back but small legal sized schoolies as well as some larger fish in the 20-30 pound range have been taken. It sure is nice to come in with some of these to clean for the table, both our guests and our own tables.

While the reef area in close to shore has been slow a few Kingfish and Bonitos are being caught. But the Bonitos should be here in force and they are not. A valuable bait source for the charter boats, we need these fish to make our strip baits. We look forward to their return soon and you’ll enjoy the fight they give, at least for a while.

Our bigger game fish have been hit or miss. We’ve had some success with Sharks and a few Sailfish have been being caught late in the day, not unusual for this time of year. And while our most recent Swordfish trip did not net us a Swordfish, the boys had a blast filling the box with the Dolphin we found on our way to the grounds. Can’t wait to try again!

Bottom fishing has been very good. Large Yellowtail and Mutton Snapper have been in the reef area close to shore while the deeper wrecks are producing some good fishing with Amberjack, Grouper and even a Cobia or two. But a recent group of guys were so worn out from catching the Dolphin the day before they requested some bottom fishing. Deep drops for Blackbellied Rosefish were our target in very deep water that require use of the electric rod and reel. Bringing fish up 900’ by hand is excruciating and once we got on them? You can see in the picture they were biting as we were bringing them up 4 and 5 at a time. While the Dolphin will provide many meals from the day before, these Rosies will be a special treat!

We’ve been busy getting our NEW Buddy Cannady 47’ Sport Fish boat ready for service. Just another week or two and we’ll be in service. And then maybe I can be more prompt on my fishing reports for the Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood area.

Captain Steve

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Shared Fishing Charter Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

Shared fishing trip

Private charter fishing trips are the main type of trips we sail in the winter months but all year long we offer what is called a split or shared fishing charter trip. These trips are put together with people that are traveling alone or maybe as a couple and don’t want to spend the money for a private charter. In the summer months here in the Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood/ Miami area, this is usually the case and type of trip we run.

Our group today got along so well, we as crew barely got a word in edgewise. Catching some fish sure didn’t hurt either. While the skies were sunny and the winds light, we began and continued to troll the entire time, a great way to catch fish in the summer heat as it creates a breeze as we move through the water. And I can tell you, even the smaller fish put up a good fight… It’s not as easy as it looks on TV and that comment was made more than once. LOL

A few Bonitos, we expect more to come, some Kingfish, small Dolphin and Tuna were our fish of the day. The Dolphin were too small to keep but were photographed before being released by those that caught them because of their vibrant color. In less than a week they will be big enough to keep but they are somewhat educated now… A couple of nice Kingfish in the 10-15 pound range, a Huge Bonito with a regular Bomber and a nice Tuna made our group quite happy.

The ONLY problem with split or shared fishing charters is trying to get the entire group to line up back at the dock for a photo with their catch! The two guys on the right were so excited about the size of these fish, I can only guess they were used to Bluegills or Croppies… They stood for over 5 minutes waiting for the rest to appear. The gal in the picture was also excited and one of the most tenacious anglers I have ever seen. In the end, this was all I could capture at the end of our trip

So if you want to save a few bucks and meet some great people, a split or shared fishing charter trip might be for you. It’s a great way to go sport fishing without the entire cost of the boat on your shoulders. But you have to be nice… And share…

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

amberjack fishing

As we near the end of spring things are changing in the fishing just off shore of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. May is traditionally one of our best fishing months but this year has been somewhat disappointing. While our customers have been quite happy with the results, the captains and mates have expected much more. So, what has been happening when you wet your line? You’re going to catch fish and lots of them. And as I write this report, it is improving with each trip!

Some of our big predators are leaving the area. It’s time for them to move on and they are doing so. You won’t be seeing as many shark pictures as you have in previous months. That’s not to say we won’t catch any, we just won’t see the numbers we have and won’t be spending our time specifically fishing for them. But the Sailfish will be around and mostly caught on the troll rather than live bait. As we warm for our summer months, the surface of the water gets warm, it is already in the mid 80’s. Fish, being cold blooded, don’t particularly like coming into warmer water column and it takes a splashing, moving bait to entice them. Most our fish are caught on the troll and Sailfish are included in that. And catching them on the troll is a blast!

What we have seen lately is an increase in both Dolphin and Tuna action. Nice sized Blackfin Tuna are biting with vigor and the Dolphin have been hanging in the same depth as the Tunas. Most the Dolphin have been small, so small we’ve had to throw some back as they don’t meet the minimum, but they are still fun to catch. Dolphin are one of the fastest growing fish in the ocean and the ones we release today will be big enough to keep in mere weeks. And they will eat almost anything you put in front of them.

A few days ago we fished the afternoon with Steve and his family from Melbourne, Florida. His kids had an absolute blast catching Tuna up to about 10 lbs. and with 18 of them in the boat? They had more than they wanted to take back home. I had a little seared Tuna last night thanks to them and it was delicious!

Bottom fishing has also been active off shore of Fort Lauderdale. Amberjack and Warsaw Grouper have been biting the big baits and the smaller Snappers are chewing on the chunks we offer. Always a good idea to have a live bait out for that passing Sail, Dolphin or Tuna that happens by. The picture is Walter from 2 days ago with a nice sized Amberjack.

Fishing has been good and yet, with all this going on, the crew is disappointed? It’s just never enough for our guests, we want and expect more. And more is on the way. Bonito and Kingfish are coming soon and the Bonito will be formidable. Many times we only get a line or 2 out before catching our first fish. If you are looking to catch a lot of fish? Now is the time.

And that’s all I have for this Fort Lauderdale fishing report…

Captain Steve

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Ladies Sport Fishing Fort Lauderdale

Posted on by Captain Steve

While a high percentage of our guests are men here in Fort Lauderdale, there are some ladies that also like sport fishing or just fishing in general. Today’s trip was a group of gals that were far from the ordinary.

Bachelor parties are somewhat common but bachelorette parties? That’s what was in store for us this afternoon when Chelsea and the girls showed up. Most were from the Carolinas and one was from Texas. They had their food and beverage, which included an ample supply of beer only proving that they know how to fish and we were off and on our way or a fun afternoon.

As Joe was putting out the lines our first strike came right away. The bride to be, Chelsea, was given the first fish and it turned out to be quite a fish! Her first Sailfish was on the line and jumping! Because only a few baits had been put out we had little to retrieve and were backing down quickly as Chelsea took in the line. And within 15 minutes, we were able to get a picture of Chelsea and her prize.

We quickly found out that these ladies were all about fishing. How did we do this or that and can I hold my fish… And winding? We had to ask a few of the girls to slow down some so they didn’t pull the face off the fish! Even after just a short time, the girls were beating Joe to the rods and setting their own hooks. And some bantering between them all as the fish kept rolling in.

All in all, they caught some Kingfish, Bonitos and a few Blackfin Tuna along with Chelsea’s Sailfish. And as we headed home from our fishing trip off Fort Lauderdale, the ladies realized they had another 12 pack in the fridge. Celebration time! I really enjoyed fishing with these gals…

Captain Steve

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