Posts Tagged "Hollywood"

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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Hollywood Fishing Is Fantastic

Posted on by Captain Steve

Peter Fishing Trip

Today was a GREAT day for our first fishing trip since returning from the Bahamas. Our 6 week trip standing by the Emerald Express at Crooked Island did not offer us much chance to fish. But with Peter and Jamie coming from Fort Meyers for their all day fishing trip, we began the day early and the action never quit.

With high winds and heavy seas we pushed out the inlet and began trolling by the sea buoy at Port Everglades. Our first pass netted us a strike as Sean was putting out the shock cord for one of the deep lines. This shock cord connects to the planer except… It wasn’t connected yet. LOL Peter had to hand line in the first fish, a nice sized Mahi-mahi. Well, not a bad start.

As we pressed on another fish, then a second hit, now both anglers were hooked up again with Dolphin. We trolled for about another 3 hours, never seeming to go more than 10 or 15 minutes without some kind of bite, the fish coming in 1 or 2 at a time, as we moved north against the current and wind. Grey skies finally began to let some light through and we opted to try some live bait and flying the kites.

After splashing 1 kite in the water while trying to launch, we finally had a few baits up on one and a small shark came by. Not what we were hoping for but fun none the less. These sharks are only about 2’ long and there are tons of them around right now. But a Sailfish or Big Dolphin was what we wanted and we reset the bait.

A few more Dolphin were caught, another shark or two as well. And as a rain storm approached and we had to bring the kite in, the boys said they were done. The box full of fish was plenty and no one was looking forward to getting wet. So with a little over an hour left to fish, we came home early, missed the storm and spent the next hour or so cleaning fish for the guys.

All in all we caught15 Mahi-mahi from a few barely legal to the biggest at 18 lbs., few Kingfish, a small Tuna, a couple of sharks and a few Bonito. It wasn’t an easy day, but it was rewarding. The guys were headed to the restaurant next door for a fresh fish dinner before heading back home. I had fresh fish that night too…

It truly was a great way to return to our dock from that long trip. Yes sir, fantastic fishing off Hollywood!

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 Swordfish Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing trips for Swordfish off the shore of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood can produce a bite in a single day. But more experienced fishermen know their odds increase with a multi-day fishing trip. It just so happens the boys we had out today had fished the previous few days with us. Their first day was a bust as far as Swordfish went. The second day got a few bites but nothing stayed connected. Those first few days happened to be my days off and because of the poor luck, there was talk of staying in tight for some more action. But at the last minute, Chip changed his mind and we were once again headed off shore to where the Swordfish feed during the day. We were in the “Go big or go home” mode.

Dave and Darrin had done the research and with the few bites the day before, we had a good idea where to fish. It’s a long way to the area we fish for Swordfish so we had the high speed lures out for any Marlin that might be around. Our first set we found we were getting too deep too quickly and decided after 45 minutes to reset. Retrieving the bait and making a move in the heavy currents of the Gulf Stream can take almost an hour but we would find out this was to be our day.

Our second set got us a bite. The fish played and billed the bait but eventually lost interest and never ate. We checked the bait and found it was fairly mutilated so we rigged again, got back in front of the fish and dropped again. It didn’t take long until we were connected!

Because of the depth, the size of the gear and pure human resources we use an electric reel for this type of fishing. In many cases the angler sits in the chair and fights the fish just as you would but pushing a button to real rather than cranking with a handle. Many a fish can be lost if the rod is pulled or jerked too quickly or harshly. Chip opted to leave the rod in the covering boards and set the reel to automatic. With the drag set, the reel can do all the work if you wish and Chip opted for another beer. LOL

Once the weight was retrieved and removed from the line, our fish was still 150’ away and down from the boat, we still hadn’t seen him. Now we come to a bit more boat handling to keep the boat in good position. Chip ready with the dart as the fish neared the boat, the dart is merely a safety precaution to have another line attached to the fish. None of these creatures are happy about their first boat ride…

With the dart finally in (it isn’t easy and takes practice) and Darrin on the gaff, our prey was boated and high 5’s all around. 3 full days of fishing and finally Chip’s prize was on board. A nice one too, weighing in at 180 lbs. a 68” short length. (The short length is measured from the fork of the tail to the tip of the lower jaw). The short length makes sure the fish is big enough to legally harvest and there was no doubt with this one.

While it was great having one fish aboard, we were zooming back to where the fish were for a second shot and got that shot shortly after reaching the bottom again. A fairly fierce bite that destroyed the bait and retrieving as fast as we could and resetting for another shot did not pan out. It’s not unusual for these fish to start moving to shallower waters at this time of day to get into position for their night feeding where they come much closer to the surface and we revert to hand cranking them.

I felt lucky and privileged to be part of Chip catching his fish of a life time. And as the sun began sinking in the west, we headed home from our Swordfish fishing trip off Fort Lauderdale. The hours just seem to fade away when you come home with your prize.

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Great Fishing Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

The area just off shore of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood has been producing some great fishing trips for our guests. The weather has been cooperating with sunny skies, reasonable seas and some awesome catches this week. A very nice mixed bag of fish, just what you’d expect and should expect for the next few months as we shift from our winter season to spring and summer with fish migrating through our area.

What a pleasure to say to our groups “Well, that didn’t take long…” as many trips begin with hits before all the rods are set. One or two baits in the water and a reel is singing. We usually start trolling as we cross the reef and Bonitos, Kingfish, Dolphin and Wahoo have been quite cooperative in all of this. And I’ve always said, catching fish is like making money, the first million is the hardest. Well, not right now, for fishing that is.

The reef has been alive with baitfish and that has all kinds of species around. While trolling produces some hits, fishing with live bait has been producing larger fish. Big Dolphin and Kingfish have been biting well. Even a few Tuna and a Tuna that can eat a live bait is usually a nice one. Sailfish haven’t been thick but they have been around and should become more plentiful. And with all this going on? Sharks are now quite prevalent. You’d best reel quickly or lose part of your fish to a hungry predator.
IMG_0206 Mahi girl
Our pictures this week were some of the Dolphin we’ve been catching. A group from Boston had a blast catching this pair as they both hit at once and orchestrating the rods to keep the lines from crossing was quite a challenge. And who doesn’t like seeing a pretty girl with her catch?

It’s all happening right now off Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood’s shores and just a few miles out too. Some great fishing trips to be had. Join us, won’t you?

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Deep Sea Fishing Charters

The fishing off shore of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida has been on the slow side as of late. We are in the middle of what should be some of the best fishing for Sailfish of the year but our unusual warm temperatures, both in the sea and the air, have had these fish coming through in dribs and drabs instead of the mass exodus we are used to. But that is all changing, and has been, in the last few days.

When south Florida temperatures don’t make it to 60? We’re in our coldest weather and this will start the fish moving south. Behind the Sailfish will come the sharks, Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin. And to be honest? We can’t wait!

While we have been catching a few fish of various species, it certainly hasn’t been what we as crew want. A Kingfish here, a Dolphin there isn’t what we’re used to or expect. When you take the time and effort to prepare baits and present them we expect results far better than the fish gods have offered as of late.

Our recent trips have been giving us a few Amberjacks from the deep reefs and wrecks. A very sizable Mutton Snapper was also caught this way. Any Groupers we catch right now must be released as they are out of season and only a few Kingfish are being caught. The one in the picture was caught just 2 days ago with the offensive tackle from the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Fisher and his dad, Tim. Oh how I wish they had been here this week. Already a few sails are making an appearance.

If you follow my reports, you may have noticed I have not written much recently. A 10 day trip to Las Vegas for the Safari Club International Expo promoting fishing in south Florida was on my schedule. But my trips are over and I WILL be back in action, so be sure to check back soon!

One more note today. We will be fishing in the Bahamas from May 18th until around June 13th for Bluefin Tuna. Pricing and availability for these trips is available by contacting us through our website. We’ll be going with or without you. It’s just too cool to miss!

Well, that’s it for today’s fishing report from the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood area of south Florida’s coastline. I’m sure I’ll have more to say shortly.

Captain Steve

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Swordfish Success Hollywood Fishing Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

sword fish

One of the great things about daytime Swordfish Trips is the Hollywood Hills is right off shore of us and that gives us a high chance for success. Another great thing about them is our decisions of what to fish for and where have already been made.

Lately fishing in our area has been slow. Our above normal sea temperatures and warm weather has kept the Sailfish we usually catch this time of year north of us. There has been no reason for them to migrate south and while we have been catching some fish, Dolphin, a few Kingfish and so on, the action hasn’t been great. We’re hoping these next two cold fronts make a change in all this.

So when Darren and I found we were headed out for day timing for Swordfish, we were delighted! We loaded up Brad and his dad Jeff and headed out for our long run off shore, well, long for here since most our fish are caught within 2 miles of shore. This trip would take us over 2 hours of running with high speed lures out to get to our fishing grounds.

Fishing for Swordfish during the day is quite involved. We use an electric reel with various spools of different weight line… Usually 80# or 60# if the current is strong. A 15 lbs. weight is also used to help us get the bait down to the bottom and the bait? This must be a work of art. It has to travel through the water so it does not spin and get tangled. There’s nothing worse that retrieving a bait that has spun up and become a jumbled mess of line, lights and hooks.

Our ride to the fishing grounds was uneventful other than one Mahi-mahi we caught as we rounded the corner making ready for our first drop. Jeff did the reeling and Brad was delighted as he had never caught one before. The boys were licking their chops thinking of dinner already. The trolling lines were cleared, the electric reel set up and baited and we began our first deep drop of the day.

It takes about 4 minutes to reach the bottom here in the depth we fish in. Flashing lights that are water activated are used on the leader to attract attention once the bait is down. The glow sticks we use at night cannot handle the pressure of the water here at this kind of depth. The computer readout on the reel says we have about 2300’ of line out and our bait is just off the bottom.

We waited about an hour and while we waited, we put a kite up with a few live Goggle eyes in it just in case another Mahi or maybe something else was around. As we fished, our direction was 1.5 knots to the north even though we were headed south. The Gulf Stream usually runs at better than 3 knots to the north this time of year.

With no bite we decided to bring the bait up and check, just to make sure small fish had not destroyed it or it had tangled on the drop. It takes almost 7 minutes with the electric to retrieve the bait, over 20 if done by hand. And as always, time is our enemy… But the bait was fine and we re-dropped right where we were. We were in the heart of the grounds; all we needed was some cooperation from our prey.

Finally back in place, we again waited for a sign. Seas were subsiding some and as we often do, moving the bait, checking our proximity to the bottom, Darren looked up at me and just gave a grin. He was in the process of dropping down and the weight stopped. It just stopped, way too soon. The rod tip twitched a few times, the button was pushed and held and something was taking drag!

It took over 30 minutes to retrieve the weight, the fish we had on, whatever it was, was still 150’ from the boat and couldn’t be seen. It bit like a Swordy, and was fighting like a Swordy, but you just never know. Sharks, Oil fish, at this depth? It could be all kinds of things. And now? With the weight off? The fun begins. Let’s get a look at what we have on!

About 50’ from the boat we got our first look at our fish. He was up on the surface slashing his bill back and forth. It’s a Swordfish all right and a nice one too. He measured out at 97” overall and weighed I’d guess about 80 lbs. After the long battle he was tired and gave Darren no trouble at the boat with the gaff. Once in the boat the fish was still moving and had to be held down tightly to keep from hurting himself or others.

It doesn’t always go this way, we wish it did. But when it all comes together? It’s a great experience! I’ve been doing this a long, LONG time and I still get chills when landing a fish like this. Imagine how Brad and his dad felt? Their first time…
IMG_0136 sword 2
So while the fishing might not be so great, that doesn’t mean great things can’t happen. And the success we had today off Hollywood on this fishing trip looking for Swordfish certainly will keep me energized for some time to come.

Thanks for listening; I got a little long on this one. LOL

Captain Steve

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Hollywood Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

kids fishing

IMG_0025The Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale area fishing has been interesting, to say the least. Normally my fishing report for the New Year would be pretty much about the Sailfish activity and while we’ve had some, it’s not what is expected as far as numbers. Not yet anyway. 

You also wouldn’t hear me talking much about Dolphin at this time of year, but as I said, it’s been interesting. The week between Christmas and New Year is always busy as far as taking people fishing. But from one day to the next, we were finding different species in our area. And what was biting the day before might very well be gone the next. Luckily, our guests have their own plans.

With the fishing being like this, we never know what to expect. Unusually warm temperatures in our area have things all mixed up. We limit out on Kingfish one day, the next we can’t find one. We were fishing for sharks the other day and got mugged, and I mean mugged, by small Dolphin. I think we ended up with 18 or so.

SailOur best efforts have been coming from using multiple techniques while flying the kites with live bait. Small sharks, Mahi-mahi, some larger sharks and a few Sailfish have been frequenting us. And fishing an “entertainment rod” has been producing some nice sized Mutton and Yellowtail Snappers. Trolling has been producing some Kingfish on the reef area and some nice Blackfin Tuna just a bit further from shore in deeper water.

As always, we adapt to what the fish gods offer each day… Trying a little of this and some of that and usually with good results. We are about to have another cold front coming as I write this fishing report. My next report could be a Sailfish extravaganza… Or the sharks might invade… Wahoo? Dolphin? I just can’t say but it’s all good here in the Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale area.

Captain Steve

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Birthday Fishing Trip Does Well

Posted on by Captain Steve

Dolphin fish

Here in the Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale area it is not unusual to have a few birthday fishing trips come our way. The day was Blake’s birthday and what he REALLY hoped to catch was a Dolphin and maybe a Sailfish. So Blake treated himself to a private charter with a few friends… Jason, Ashley and Dana. Friends, couples, married… I don’t know and don’t ask unless the information is offered. 

For Sailfish, the BEST baits are the Goggle Eyes that can be bought on the way out the port. And the Sailfish should be here right now but they have been a bit lean. None the less, we like to put our best foot forward and off we went to catch Blake and his group some fish.

Trolling was turning out to be a bust, it seemed as if nothing was on the reef feeding and after an hour or so, we decided to switch things up a bit and put some live baits out along with some big baits on both the top and bottom. Our group was having a great day at sea, cool temperatures, very clear and sunny skies, light winds and calm seas. The time was actually going by quickly considering we had only caught one small Bonito… I think…LOL

We sat for quite some time and passed the time talking and telling stories and such when suddenly, a fish was jumping behind the boat. A Dolphin had eaten one of our live baits and was jumping toward us, the release clip on the rigger was still intact. JJ was quick and handed the rod off to Blake after getting it loose from the rigger and some excitement was happening!

And at this point, I have to ask you, is this birthday luck? Blake had asked for a Dolphin, not one had been reported from any boat out and yet, here we were, fighting one right now. And to add to the luck, as the fish neared the boat, we saw he had brought some friends with him. Lot’s of friends too! And this is where a charter boat is the boat to be on when opportunity meets preparation!

We were lucky, again, that Blake and Jason knew how to tie hooks on. The chaos that followed was typical when a boat is surrounded by hungry fish. Jason ran down below, as instructed by JJ, and brought out more spinning rods. Our second spinner was already in use and hooked with a fish on it, Blake at the side keeping his fish in the water. More rods, more bait, this one over that one, you come around over here… Working the fish and the rods around the big bait rods, keeping things clear, boating fish, it truly was chaos.

This entire episode lasted maybe 30 minutes or less. Mahi-mahi began to become aware that some of their friends are leaving the group and things aren’t normal. Their aggressive nature and speed at which they approach a bait begin slowing down as they approach in a more cautious manner. And soon the school had moved on heading south and any other boat that encountered them would have a tough time getting a bite for a while.

The cleanup began, we had missed a bottom bite in all the commotion, no hooks were left on our spinning rods but our group was delighted! In all, 18 Dolphin had been caught and maybe 2 or 3 lost. We fished a bit longer and even saw a few Dolphin swim by the boat but they were not interested in anything we offered.
IMG_4181 Dolphin
So it was a happy group we returned to the dock with their catch. A birthday wish granted, well, only one wish, but 18 times. 

Captain Steve

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