Posts Tagged "Sailfish"

September Deep Sea Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve




As the weather cools in the north, here in Fort Lauderdale a seasonal change occurs even though the weather remains very warm. All different types of bait fish will begin to migrate south through our area and as this food source moves, so do the fish that feed on them.
 
Each year in September, Fort Lauderdale’s waters just off the coast become alive with schools of bait. Spanish Sardines, Cigar Minnows, Ballyhoo, Mullet and Herrings all move south along our coast. On calm days, the schools of bait can be seen from the beaches. On days with waves on the beach and the sand becomes stirred up, they move into deeper and cleaner water. With this abundance of baitfish moving through our area, the fishing gets better and better as migrating schools of ALL species we catch here follow the food source.
 
Our fishing tactics change somewhat from the trolling we usually do to having some of these live baitfish aboard. This time of year, you will run across fish feeding on these schools. Sailfish, Tuna and Dolphin are the most common to encounter. Wahoo, Bonito and Barracuda can also be caught in the area of these schools of bait. Even Blue and White Marlin come into the shallow waters where they are not usually found to enjoy the abundance of food. And when the opportunity presents itself, a pitched live bait can yield some exciting action, usually pitched on lighter tackle.
 
We have already seen this beginning here. Small Sailfish, usually the first to appear following the bait, have begun to show and play havoc with our trolling baits. Usually under 5’ in length, they weight little but have the agility of the full-grown Sails. And because of their smaller weight mass, they spend more time in the air as it takes little to expel themselves from the water. The 2 young anglers picture had just this experience. Beginners luck? LOL
 
Tuna also make a strong appearance this time of year. Again, we have seen this beginning already and chasing a school of feeding Tuna is a blast, as our guests yesterday found out. The water explodes with each lunge of fish feeding. While most are in the 10 to 12 pound class, there are some Blackfin caught over 30 and the occasional Yellowfin running with them as well.
 
What has been unusual for this time of year is the Dolphin presence. Usually something we can catch fairly easily in the summer months; they have not been plentiful offshore this year. However, in the last week or so, Dolphin have been showing up in small groups in close to shore and with some regularity. We do expect their numbers to begin to drop off some in the next few months, but that is the great thing about fishing, you just never know what will come along.
 
We will keep you informed and hope you check back often.
Tight lines…
 
Capt. Steve

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Great Fishing Now

Posted on by Captain Steve

August usually signals the end of summer. While most of the country begins to experience cooler weather, here in Fort Lauderdale, we look at 2 more months of hot weather. This is the time of year that the waters offshore of Ft. Lauderdale are usually at their warmest and that affects the way we fish and what we catch.

I’m sure many of you have experienced going from the shore of a lake or into the water of an ocean and felt the thermo cline (difference in temperature) of the surface water and the deeper water it sits on. Fish, being cold blooded, are sensitive to this change, not only is it felt, but seen as well. It forms a layer of water that appears blurry to our eyes, like Vaseline spread on a piece of glass. This is the main reason that we switch from live bait fishing to trolling with our deep lines out this time of year. The fish stay deeper to avoid this area. Only the hungriest of fish will penetrate this barrier. This is also why the early morning or later afternoon will produce more bites.

Here in Fort Lauderdale, our fishing close to shore has been good to excellent. Kingfish are abundant most days, with the legal limit being caught fairly easily. Mixed in with the Kings are some Bonito, a few Barracuda, Blackfin Tuna and the occasional Sailfish. The last week or so has been excellent at raising some Sails. They have been biting regularly on the days we are out.

Further offshore, in 300 to 500’ or so, Wahoo have been a fairly regular fish being caught. If you are not familiar with this fish, check it out on the web. Excellent eating and an amazingly fast and strong swimmer, these fish truly make the reel “sing” when they strike. This seasons Dolphin fishing has been very lack luster here. While we have encountered them with extremely limited success, they have not been predominant as they usually are this time of year. Still, we hope for a happy ending to this summer with a late flurry of them showing up. They will be on the move and with the tropics heating up, the debris in the water from storms makes an excellent habitat for these fish.

While the days are hot, the nights are cooler, the Swordfish grounds have had some action. While not catching a fish every trip, the bites are there. The conditions determine how things go and with a little luck, a few bites AND fish can be had.

With the offshore Dolphin fishing being slow, we have been spending more time close and doing some bottom fishing with some great success. Amberjack are still on the deeper wrecks and reefs. Mutton Snapper, a few Yellowtails and Groupers are also being caught on both live and dead bait.

Thanks for your time, have a great day.

Capt. Steve

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Cold Fronts Push Fish

Posted on by Captain Steve

cuda fish

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 is. LOL

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

Capt. Steve

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Sailfish Season

Posted on by Captain Steve

Sailfish fishing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Capt. Steve

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Fishing With Large Groups

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing with a large group like Corporate outings, bachelor parties and family outings, just to name a few, any group over 6 is a large group. You have two options, either charter enough 6 passenger boats for your group or put your entire group on one boat. We can do either and today’s group opted for 6 boats to accommodate everyone.

Today’s forecast was for 50% rain… It drizzled for about 5 minutes. But it didn’t dampen the groups spirit or their fishing.

You see, fish kind of like overcast skies. They can swim up near and on the surface of the water without casting a shadow. Today was no different, all the boats did well in the reef area with Kingfish, Bonito and Tuna. Bonito and Tuna are in the same family and occasionally school together.

Along with the bounty of fish providing plenty of action, a Sailfish decided to join the fray on our boat. Having a line come down, screaming line off and then seeing this large fish jumping behind the boat still thrills me, even after all these years.

A 20-minute battle is the norm and boating the fish has to be done carefully. We prefer to release these fish so we take care in handling them. A hose with running saltwater on board helps them breath as we take measurements and pictures. And, of course, that last picture before the fish is placed back in the water for release.

Sometimes we must coach them along, holding beside the boat helping them rest while they breath in the water for oxygen. Others you can barely get them back in the water before they bolt. It is an awesome feeling watching your fish swim away, if he gives you the chance.

Whether you want everyone on the same boat or multiple boats to cover your group, fishing with large groups is best back at the dock. Bragging rights and all.

Capt. Steve

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The April Bite is Hopping

Posted on by Captain Steve

sword fish

What a busy April we’ve had aboard Fantastic Fishing! The Spring action is off the charts and we are in the thick of every species to be found off of Fort Luaderdale: Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Wahoo, Kingfish, Tunas, Amberjacks, Barrcuda, Sharks and a bevy of Snapper and Grouper species!

NOW is the time to book your saltwater fishing adventure as the Spring action is reaching its PEAK!

Sportfishing Report: Mahi Mahi are Here..and They Brought Friends…

Gaffer Dolphin Fishing

The Mahi Mahi have been coming in relatively close to show to pummel our live baits and trolled baits inside of 300 feet of water for some mid-spring acrobatics and tasty eating. Mahi in the 10 to 30 pound range have been caught since late March by our clients and there seems to be no end in sight. Our sister ship, the Lady Pamela II, caught this MASSIVE Mahi Mahi in the video below!

The Sailfishing Remains Hot

The Sailfish continue to stay in the area and are feasting on nearly every bait that we throw at them! Our clients have been catching and releasing large numbers of Sailfish as we fish live baits underneath our fishing kites.

We love to Kite-fish for Sailfish. It is an amazing experience as you get to see the Sailfish literally come up to eat the bait. Nothing gets the blood pumping like watching a double- or triple-header Sailfish bite up on the surface.We can fish up to three (3) live baits per kite, with at least two (2) kites up at any one time. We’re fishing between 90 and 225 feet of water. 

When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air, we can also slow troll live baits such as Pilchards, Ballyhoo, Blue Runners and Goggle Eyes as well as troll our specially-crafted mullet strips.

Toothy Critters: Wahoo and Kingfish are Tearing up the Baits

The Wahoo and Kingfish don’t want us to forget about them! Some huge Wahoo have been piling onto our kite baits, slow-trolled live baits and our trolled strips. These are truly world-class catches and we’d love for you to get in on the action!

King Mackerel (‘Kingfish”) have  been prowling the reefs  a little shallower than the Wahoo to pounce on our unwary kite baits and they make for a nice one-two punch with the Wahoo on the outside of the reef. Like Wahoo, Kingfish have teeth that are more like surgical scalpels and they fight hard, which is why we call them “smokers” – they will smoke your drag on scorching runs once they’re hooked.

Feb King

When they’re not crushing our live baits under the kite or slow-trolled, Kingfish have also been responding to our strip baits trolled below the surface on planers along with as Islanders with ballyhoo in both the blue/white and red/black color combinations. We’ve been finding the Kingfish in between 70 and 150 feet of water.

Blackfin Tunas – Not So Wicked

The Blackfin Tunas are here IN FORCE. We’ve been catching Blackfins in the 10 to 20-pound range inside of 160 feet of water on the same live baits under kites as we use when we target Sailfish, as well as slow-trolled live baits.

tuna fish

We’ve also been targeting Blackfins by trolling Sea Witches and Bonito Strips at 5 – 6 knots. Large Bonitos are also mixed in with the Blackfins.

Sharks are Here…and Hungry

The shark fishing continues to be off-the-charts with big Hammerhead Sharks topping the charts!

Our clients continue to enjoy big Hammerhead Shark catches and we’re also getting shots at other shark species such as Caribbean Reef Sharks, Blacktips and Silky Sharks. The best shark baits continue to be either a live Bonito or dead Bonito or Kingfish dropped down in 300 feet of water.

As you can see, the Fort Lauderdale offshore fishing scene is busting at the seams! We need your help to catch all of these species that are basically jumping in the boat! Give us a call NOW to book your trip before this bite slows down! We still have a few slots open before the end of April and just a few left for May. Let’s go!

Tight Lines,

Captain Steve

Posted in Mahi Mahi

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We’re Marching Through FANTASTIC Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Sailfish catching

The Spring action is here, folks! This means the return of the bait schools on the reef and plenty of species to feed upon them. We expect the sailfish bite to continue to be solid as we have had a nice north current the past few days. The action on the reefs and bottom fishing is red-hot! NOW is the time to book your saltwater fishing adventure with Fantastic Fishing!

Sportfishing Report: The Sailfish Bite Remains Steady

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The Sailfish continue to stay in the area and the roving pods of Sails are feasting on nearly every bait that we throw at them! Our clients have been catching and releasing large numbers of Sailfish as we fish live baits underneath our fishing kites or on the troll.

Kite-fishing is our specialty at Fantastic Fishing. Nothing gets the blood pumping like watching a double- or triple-header Sailfish bite up on the surface.We can fish up to three (3) live baits per kite, with at least two (2) kites up at any one time. We’re fishing between 80 and 200 feet of water.

When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air, we can also slow troll live baits such as Pilchards, Ballyhoo, Blue Runners and Goggle Eyes as well as troll our specially-crafted mullet strips.

The Kingfish and Wahoo are Making Noise

King Mackerel (‘Kingfish”) have also set up shop on and near the reefs to pounce on our unwary kite baits and trolled baits and they have only gotten thicker – and hungrier. Kingfish have teeth that are more like surgical scalpels and they fight hard, which is why we call them “smokers” – they will smoke your drag on scorching runs once they’re hooked. When they’re not crushing our live baits under the kite or slow-trolled, Kingfish have also been responding to our strip baits trolled below the surface on planers along with as Islanders with ballyhoo in both the blue/white and red/black color combinations. We’ve been finding the Kingfish in between 70 and 150 feet of water.

Wahoo are on the Scene

Wahoos have also shown up to crush our kite baits and our Kingfish baits trolled behind planers. The only thing better than the screaming drags and intense fights with Wahoo are how Wahoo taste on your dinner table!

Ft. Lauderdale Fishing

Barracudas Don’t Want to be Left Out

While we’re on the reef targeting Sailfish, Kingfish and other species, another toothy monster has a knack for blowing up our kite baits and trolled baits: Barracuda! These fearsome-looking critters are tough, acrobatic fighters that refuse to be ignored. Barracuda also make amazing replica mounts.

The Grouper and Snappers are Frisky

With the recent full moon, the bottom fishing has been exceptional. We’ve been keeping our clients busy catching fish and sending them home with tasty dinner fare. Get a look at this huge Black Grouper!

Snappers or multiple varieties are also on the bite and stuffing our fish boxes.

When we visit our “honey hole” wrecks, our anglers have been “greeted: by slugger Amberjacks like the one below.

Our April trips are filling up fast as families visit us for Spring Break and May dates are getting scooped up. Give us a call to book your FANTASTIC trip now!

Tight Lines,

Captain 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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January Fishing is Keeping Everyone Warm

Posted on by Captain Steve

Sailfish fishing

The red-hot Winter bite is still in full swing despite the fact that the “winter vortex” is sitting on top of most of the northern US and Canada! The pods of Sailfish are in town for the winter and they aren’t going anywhere! Wahoo, King Mackerel, Amberjacks and big Sharks continue to keep line peeling and drags screaming.

Offshore Report: Sailfish Reporting for Duty

The world-famous Sailfish are here and more are on the way from the north. A few weeks ago, nearly 1,000 Sailfish were caught during a sailfish tournament about 90 miles to the north of us and they are headed this way! The recent January cold fronts have really turned on the bite as we continue to catch multiple Sailfish on live Goggle Eyes or Pilchards suspended below our fishing kites.

South Florida is the birthplace of kite fishing and nobody does it better than the pros at Fantastic Sportfishing. We been catching Sailfish anywhere from 60 feet out to 300 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.

sailfish fishing

 

Huge Wahoo!

Wahoo continue to be very active on the deeper reefs and out to 600 feet of water. Wahoos have also taken a liking to our live baits while Sailfishing. We’re catching Wahoo in the 10 to 50-pound range either on our Sailfish baits or on live Bonitos. We’re also catching Wahoo on the troll with bonito strips, mullet strips, lures and feathers trolled below the surface on planers.

Wahoo aren’t the only “toothy critters” on the prowl. Their cousins, King Mackerel, are also pouncing on our live baits and trolled baits in the hopes that we’re not fishing wire leaders.

Shark Fishing is Unreal:

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. You need to keep your head on a swivel and few things are as impressive as an 8-foot Hammerhead thrashing just underneath the kite. We also continue to tangle with Blacktips and Spinner Sharks by targeting them on certain wrecks with live and dead Bonitos. If you’ve ever wished to catch a big Shark, now is the time to schedule your trip with us!

“A” For Amberjacks:

We continue to introducing our clients to the offshore version of Crossfit Training: Amberjacks! We’re dropping down a live Bonito or Goggle Eye in 200 – 300 feet of water to slug it out with huge, bruising Amberjacks.

As always, there is no snow in OUR forecast. Ever. Come join us to keep this hot winter bite going! Give us a call to book a trip with Fantastic Sportfishing.

Tight Lines,
Captain Steve

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Happy New Year from Fantastic Fishing!

Posted on by Captain Steve

3 hour sail

Happy New Year from all of us at Fantastic Fishing! We’re excited to see what the New Year has in store for all of us. We are also excited to see what we have in store for YOU when you join us for an offshore sportfishing adventure!

The Holiday season causes us to take a moment to thank YOU for giving us at Fantastic Sportfishing the opportunity and privilege to introduce YOU to this unmatched South Florida fishery. Without YOU, our Team has no mission. We greatly appreciate your business and hope that you’ll come back to see us soon, especially our junior anglers who may still have a few days off from school as their holiday season winds down.

Nothing rings in the New Year quite like a red-hot Winter bite and that’s exactly what we have going on right now! The pods of Sailfish are in town for the holidays and they don’t want to leave -and we’re not complaining. Wahoo, King Mackerel and Amberjacks have also shown up to keep line peeling and drags screaming.

Offshore Report: Sailfish, Sailfish, Sailfish

The world-famous Sailfish are here and feeding on the schools of Ballyhoo as they make their way south down our beaches and reefs. The recent cold fronts have really turned on the bite as we continue to catch multiple Sailfish on slow-trolled live Ballyhoo or on live Goggle Eyes suspended below our fishing kites.

South Florida is the birthplace of kite fishing and nobody does it better than the pros at Fantastic Sportfishing. We been catching Sailfish anywhere from 60 feet out to 300 feet of water. When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air, we’ve also had success catching Sailfish trolling Sea Witches (in blue/white and pink/white color combinations) on the surface at 7 – 9 knots.

 

Everybody Yell Wahoo!

Wahoo have been very active on the reefs as well as out to 600 feet of water and they are picking away at our live baits while Sailfishing. We’re catching Wahoo in the 10 to 40-pound range either on our Sailfish baits or on live Bonitos. We’re also catching Wahoo on the troll with bonito strips, mullet strips, lures and feathers trolled below the surface on planers.

As we all saw during November, Wahoo aren’t the only “toothy critters” on the prowl. Barracuda continue to patrol the reefs looking for unwary prey and they have been pouncing on our live baits and trolled baits. Look at this fearsome sea monster:

Shark Fishing Will Keep You Warm:

The shark fishing continues to be hot. We continue to tangle with Blacktips and Spinner Sharks as they chase the migrating baitfish. We also get Hammerhead Sharks show up underneath our Sailfish baits suspended under our kites. You need to keep your head on a swivel and few things are as impressive as an 8-foot Hammerhead thrashing just underneath the kite. Amazing!

“A” For Amberjacks:

We continue to introducing our clients to the offshore version of Crossfit Training: Amberjacks! We’re dropping down a live Bonito or Goggle Eye in 200 – 300 feet of water to slug it out with huge, bruising Amberjacks.

As always, there is no snow in OUR forecast. Ever. Come join us to get 2019 started the right way! Give us a call to book a trip with Fantastic Sportfishing.

Tight Lines,
Captain Steve

Posted in Sailfish, Wahoo

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