Posts Tagged "Hammerhead"

Fort Lauderdale Shark Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Hammerhead shark

Lately Fort Lauderdale shark fishing has been very productive. It’s a bit late but the mating season is still going on and our area is a breeding ground for many species of sharks.

Sandbar sharks, often mistaken for Bull sharks, are quite prevalent right now. Found in shallow water, usually around wrecks, they are quite ready for an easy meal as we present it. While fishing for these, we often put out a bottom rod for snapper and grouper if they are around.

Other species are here as well. Tiger, Bull and some rare Hammerhead sharks are also making appearances. A Hammerhead it what is pictured above. These fish give quite the fight! With that big flat wing on their head, all they need to do is get their head down and kick with their tail a few times. Their power just peels the line off the reel.

Even the species of Hammerhead has a few varieties. The Scalloped, Smoothskin and Great Hammerheads are being seen. The4se fish are usually caught in deeper water but can be found anywhere at any time.

So if you’re looking to catch a BIG fish, Fort Lauderdale shark fishing is filling that bill. Hope to see you soon.

Capt. Steve

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Sailfish are Showing Us the Love in February

Posted on by Captain Steve

catch Sailfish

Love was in the air for all of February because we at Fantastic Fishing LOVE catching and releasing Sailfish! Wahoo, King Mackerel and big Sharks continue to make guest appearances to keep line peeling and drags screaming.

Sailfish Eating Baits Like Candy

The world-famous Sailfish action has never been better and we’ve been guiding our clients to double-, triple- and event quadruple-headers when fishing live baits offshore. The recent January cold fronts have kept the Sailfish down south and that’s just where we want them. We continue to catch multiple Sailfish on live Goggle Eyes or Pilchards suspended below our fishing kites.

As we like to remind everyone, South Florida is the birthplace of kite fishing and nobody does it better than the pros at Fantastic Sportfishing. We’ve been catching Sailfish anywhere from 70 feet out to 250 feet of water. When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air, we’ve also had success catching Sailfish by slow-trolling live  Ballyhoo or Goggle Eyes on the surface and just below the surface.

Here at Fantastic Fishing, we believe in a sustained fishery. That’s why every Sailfish caught is tagged and released so that researchers can further study their travel and feeding habits. We do everything we can to ensure that these majestic and acrobatic fish can be enjoyed by future generations of anglers.

Toothy Critters are Chewing:

Wahoo and King Mackerel have been active on the reefs inside of 300 feet of water and have been sneaking up on our live baits while Sailfishing. We’re catching Wahoo and Kingifish in the 10 to 30-pound range either on our Sailfish baits or on the troll with bonito strips, mullet strips, lures and feathers trolled below the surface on planers.

Huge Barracudas have gathered above the reefs for their own dating game, looking for unwary prey. They have been pouncing on our live baits and trolled baits.

Toothy Part II: Shark Fishing is Steady

The shark fishing continues to be hot. The Hammerheads are showing up under our kite baits just like the rest of the species we like to catch. We also continue to tangle with Silky Sharks, Blacktips, Spinner Sharks and the occasional Big Bully: Bullsharks. We’re targeting the sharks on certain humps and wrecks with live and dead Bonitos. If you’ve ever wished to catch a big Shark, let’s go! Now is the time to schedule your trip with us!

Fishing is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. Check out this African Pompano that our clients caught. This is a rare but pleasant treat. Way to go!

The remainder of February is nearly booked and our March slots are filling up as the Spring action is just around the corner. Give us a call to book your FANTASTIC trip now!

Tight Lines,

Captain Steve

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Wisconsin Badger’s Hammerhead Shark

Posted on by Captain Steve

Wis shark

With the week between Christmas and New Year behind us, we’ve found that one of our trips created a bit of a stir. The Wisconsin Badger’s Hammerhead Shark is what we’ll call this.


5 of the players and one of the coaches from Wisconsin joined us for some fishing before the Orange Bowl game. The late afternoon trip set out around 4 pm. We are looking for BIG fish, after all, these were big boys. LOL


Sitting in deep water over 600’, we waited and I was about to try in shallower water when we got as bite. It was funny because we had the boys try and pull line off the reel. They had a tough time with where the drag was set. This fish did not have that problem and pulled off about 100 yards quickly.


Our angler never faded and stayed set on his goal. It took a little over 30 minutes to see what we had caught, a 9’ Hammerhead shark. We boated the fish for measurement, tagging and pictures before releasing him. But that’s not what caused a stir.


It seems at the game they posted a picture I had taken from the fly bridge of the shark and the crew on the Jumbo Tron. Hammerhead sharks are protected in state waters because they are endangered. The public and media were calling the FWC, our fish and game people.


An agent contacted me some days later for an interview of what occurred. I explained we go to great lengths to take care of the game fish we catch and release. We have a hose that pumps sea water for our catches to breath and this helps us release them in good shape.


When you see game fish caught on our boat in a picture, if it’s not edible, it is released. And it was the same with the Wisconsin Badger’s Hammerhead Shark.


Happy New Year

Captain Steve

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Exciting Deep Sea Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingThis week we have had some very exciting deep sea fishing. No two days have been the same except for our near perfect weather off the Fort Lauderdale coast. Tuna, Sailfish, Dolphin and Sharks have been the main targets.


One trip stands out as the most exciting and a somewhat disappointment as well, an afternoon trip that started with such a bad luck. But it goes to show that perseverance does pay off.


We begin this trip catching some live Bullet Bonitos for bait. We fish for maybe 20 minutes and our first bite comes. Everything goes smoothly as Adam feeds the fish and then he’s jumping. A big Sailfish is on the line! And he’s taking drag! And he’s gone… We call that a swing and a miss. Barely had time to get our angler in the chair.


So we reset and in less than 10 minutes, we get another shot at another Sailfish. We see him come in and try for the bait but he got tangled in the leader and is jumping and throws the bait before we can get tight. Talk about frustrating? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…


So we reset again and get a bite on the down rigger. We get tight and all is going great! Our young angler is finding out that this isn’t as easy as it looks on TV. And after 15 minutes? The hook pulls and the line goes limp.


These were all great fish and would have been great to land but that is fishing sometimes. But wait… There’s more.


With our baits out and tons of weed making things tough, we raise a huge shark. He is far too big for the light tackle we have out so we pitch a big bait on a big rod. His first approach was amazing, just to see his speed and agility in chasing the bait. He tries the big bait and then fades. Been that kind of day… Another bait is put out and this time he eats and gets hooked.


There are many different kinds of Hammerhead sharks. This one happened to be a Great Grey, the largest of the species. Getting the fish to the boat wasn’t easy. And then measuring and getting this fish back out of the boat wasn’t easy either. He measure out at just over 10’ and we estimated him at about 400 lbs. I’m afraid our picture isn’t the best as the fish took up most of our cockpit and was not enjoying his first boat ride.


There is video on our Facebook page that shows the fish behind us before he bit. You only get glimpses of the cycle fin and he was much more relaxed than when we first saw him. Four bites and one fish. But a great one at that! Yes, very exciting deep sea fishing this week.



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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Fanntasic Fishing Report Hollywood Florida

Posted on by Captain Steve

Hollywood fishing

One of my first trips from our new dock in Hollywood, Florida was not exactly the perfect south Florida day and my fishing report is about this trip. Doctor Dale and his crew showed up in windy conditions, overcast skies and a 60% chance of rain for their all day trip. The seas were running about 4’ and that was about his threshold so across the street we went to take a look. They had driven quite a distance to go fishing that day and the waves breaking on the beach were around 4’ so they opted to go rather than postpone. It turned out to be a good choice too.

As I said, Doc had done this before and was all about buying some live bait for kite fishing. No problem with wind, we had plenty and kite fishing is probably one of the most comfortable ways to fish in seas. While conditions at the beach were 4’, it was surprisingly comfortable out in the ocean where the waves were 4 to 6’ with the occasional 10. And fish LOVE this kind of weather! The only thing that could dampen our day was if the weatherman was correct about the 60% chance of rain. They haven’t invented a kite that will stay up in rain… yet…

We set up and began waiting for our first bite. It took a bit but there was finally an explosion of water out by the long right kite bait. One of Doc’s guests went first, I think it was Caj, and with some coaching, after about 10 minutes, she landed a nice 25 lbs. Kingfish. This fish was a real stud and Doc was already happy about his decision to go fishing as they were quite hungry. LOL

We reset and again had to wait a bit for our next bite. This was a decent sized Barracuda which was landed by Doc’s other guest, Rick. This bite also came on the right long bait. As crew, we prefer the hits, when they come as singles hit a short bait. Then we don’t have to do a complete reset, just reel the kite to the short pin. I felt a trend developing.. . LOL

Again we reset and had to wait. That’s the part of fishing that sometimes get to you. With doc up and ready, our next bite was seen coming for the… you guessed it, long right kite bait. A Dolphin was approaching and quite excited about his next meal. This fish took some time to land as the big ones can be especially acrobatic and are not happy when they get close to the boat. Darren finally was able to stretch out and gaff this 20 pounder which was immediately put in the fishbox and the lid slammed. They have a tendency to jump back out of the boat and it would be a shame to loose such a prize.

Ok, this long right stuff is getting old, right? But we’re not done yet… Some more waiting and here’s comes Mr. Sailfish. He’s on and jumping and Rick, who caught the Barracuda, is now battling his first ever Sail! Doc and Darren are down there coaching and I’m just trying to keep the boat close to the fish as we land and photograph this delightful fish before releasing him back to the sea. It took a bit of reviving by dragging him slowly by the boat in the water until he regained his strength. We really try to do what we can for successful releases to protect our fishery.

To this point, we’d only missed one hit, a small Kingfish had chopped a bait in half. Our time was running short and with only 10 minutes or so more to fish before we headed back, I was kidding with Darren about a shark biting a bait and extending our trip. Sharks do NOT come to the boat easily… And there he was, his fin cutting the water headed right for the LEFT long… finally. Finally another bait got eaten! LOL

Doc was up for this battle as he had never caught a Shark before and on a class 80# rod and a Penn International 130, he actually made fairly quick work of this fish. About a 7’ Hammerhead had eaten our bait but luckily he never sounded to the bottom. He stayed up near the surface making the fight much shorter and within about 20 minutes, we had him to the boat but couldn’t hang on. He screamed out some more line but returned to us shortly to be captured, pictures taken boatside and released. And with that? Our day was done and it was time to head home.

We never had any rain except for a few sprinkles. The seas were big but not uncomfortable. Sunscreen was not needed today but all in all, it turned out to be a banner day of fishing. 5 for 6 on bites, 5 different species. And they were nice ones too. And that’s how Fanntastic Fishing made its start at our new dock in Hollywood, Florida. Not a bad fishing report if I do say so myself. 

Captain Steve

P.S. It wasn’t until I sent the picture from my phone to the computer that I just remembered our 4th passenger. That would be the dog by the bottom of the fish. This truly was a sea dog too.

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Hammerhead Now His Biggest Fish

Posted on by Captain Steve

Biggest fishFort Lauderdale fishing has been fairly consistent lately. Trolling the reef area has been producing Bonitos, a much sought after bait fish, in some good numbers. These fish are false Tuna’s, also known as Little Tunnys. Their edibility is poor because of the dark red meat and strong fishy taste but they supply us with strip baits after we thin out the meat on the skin and cut them to shape. These baits provide us with most our trolling baits.

With Anita, her son Christian and his girlfriend Megan, Megan’s brother Dillan and his girlfriend Chelsea (I think I got that all right… LOL), we were on our way for some fishing fun for a few hours. Seas were calm and the skies clear to allow our summer sun through today. Folks, I’m telling you, it’s hot! No wind in the early hours of the morning and lake like conditions as far as waves.

Our first bite was a small Kingfish and as we circled around we found no more Kings but the Bonitos were biting pretty good. Anita just watched from the bridge as Christian and Dillon caught fish, while the girls were struggling to land one, they each lost a fish. Megan was taking it personally, Chelsea didn’t seem to care.

But after some time and coaching from the now expert boyfriends, all had caught a few fish and we decided to try for something bigger. Just 1.5 miles from shore in 300’ of water, we deployed our baits and waited. With no breeze from the boat moving on the troll, it became quite warm. Anita retreated to the deck for some sun while others ran to the AC in the cabin.

We had waited over an hour and no bite had come. It was time to go home and we were bringing in the baits. Out time was up and I was disappointed but… the surface bait came down. We could see the balloon we use for a bobber bouncing on the surface and when it finally began to run out line, we set the hook and came tight with a Hammerhead shark.

This is what we call a “Whistle bite”… Right at the whistle when it’s time to go home. Christian, a big young man was huffing and puffing as the fish was having its way with him. It took 20 minutes for him to land this fish, which was now his biggest ever, replacing a 20 lbs. Catfish. We pulled this Shark up on the boat to remove the hook and take a few shots. I swear I was laughing so hard trying to get Megan to get close and into the picture… Christian wasn’t moving from the chair. LOL

We headed home all happy and smiles as the moving boat had refreshed the breeze. Thes folks from Kentucky had a blast!

Keep em tight… Keep em on.

Captain Steve


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Happy 4th Fishing Celebration

Posted on by Captain Steve

Andy T headThis time of year in Fort Lauderdale our guests often request to fish Dolphin for the targeted species. Our group today was no different with 20 lbs. of chicken back at the house to barbecue, some fresh fish would be a nice addition. Greg, Andy and Jeff were all ready to go on the 4 hour morning trip and with our early start, we were first out.

The sea buoy that marks the entrance to Port Everglades is an excellent place to start trolling too. The chain and the buoy it holds has all sorts of growth on it, as well as offering a place for small bait fish to hide. A lap or two around this marker can bring excellent results. But our first two hits were misses… One cut the high line, another on a deep line. Both baits cut as if with a knife, probably Kingfish.

As we wandered away from the buoy another strike on the deep line did not connect. It was reset immediately and another strike came and missed. This is the pattern of a Sailfish and when the line was reset and tripped again, Justin let it come up some from depth before resetting it. And he did it just enough for the Sail to find and eat my high line. Fish on!

Andy was in the chair and even though this wasn’t the target today, it was exciting as can be. The group helped Justin get the other lines in and Andy did a great job fighting the fish. He had us stretched out pretty good for a while, me on the radio asking other boats to keep clear and soon our prize was boatside for pictures by the crowd. I’m afraid I never had a camera shot at this one, he released himself before we could remove the hook for him. We were letting him go anyway.

Now when anyone who knows sees a charter boat backing up, they know something cool is going on and a very short time later we were , once again, clearing lines to back up! We’d had a good hit on one of the deep lines and this fish was taking us to town. We were down to the backing in no time before we got the lines clear and the boat into reverse. Now gaining back some serious line, this fish again took off. A call came in on the radio asking what we had on now??? No clue I’m afraid. But this time our prize wasn’t a fish but a mammal eating what we’d caught. A large Porpoise had found our Bonito and was having a game of tug of war with us. He was enjoying it, our angler was not. This happens often when Porpoise are around. They have the ability to steal our fish without so much as a bat of their eyes. They don’t eat the entire fish and their telltale mark is left on the head, a sharply cut V in the top.

A small King was caught without incident, a Blackfin Tuna and another bomber Bonito. We came across an east west tidal line and caught a decent Dolphin. Lately, the Mahi’s that have been in shallow waters have been attracted to the boat sitting rather than trolling so we put out a few shark baits in the area and hoped for the best. The Dolphin activity was too far from shore to get to on a 4 hour trip.

The Mahi we’d caught would turn out to be our only one but we did manage to hook a Hammerhead Shark. Andy again was in the chair and is pictured with this 7’ T head. The hooks were removed and he was set free and our trip was over.

Happy 4th of July guys… Hope the fish added to the barbecue.

Keep em tight… Keep em on.

Captain Steve


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