Posts Tagged "Sailfish"

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

Posted in Sailfish

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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

Posted in Sailfish

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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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The Bite Is On

Posted on by Captain Steve

3 hour sail

If you are looking for fish to bend the rod, you should be fishing right now! The bite is on here in south Florida. Mahi-mahi, Tuna, Kingfish and others are bending our rods with frequency. And all this action has been within a few miles of shore.

 

While I try to spin whatever we’re catching into good news, I don’t have to work at it this month. The picture above is from our Southwest Airline group. Each year they come for their annual get together and always need fish for their fish fry on the last evening. They won’t go hungry this year, that’s for sure.

 

Kings and Bonitos, along with some Tuna are mixed in the reef area. Depending on the water color, Mahi-mahi and Wahoo may also be there. But that’s not all we’ve been getting. A few sharks and Sails have been mixed in as well. Most of these fish are being caught trolling.

 

And after all the time I’ve been doing this, I still get a thrill when someone catches a Sail and says they can scratch that off their bucket list. It just makes me smile as it did with this gentleman and his prize.

If you are looking for action, for edible fish or just to bend the rod, now is the time. The bite is on!

 

Captain Steve

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This Week’s Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

It has always amazes me how much sea conditions can change, and how quickly, as they did in this week’s fishing. And with these changes come different types of fish you can catch.

 

North current can change to none or south in minutes. Water color can go from blue to green or vice versa quickly as well. Many times that green water has to do with rain as it did the other day while catching bait. The Ballyhoo came to the chum bag quickly but would not come to the surface for quite some time, the fresh water keeping them down a foot or so.

 

This week’s fishing has been very good however, even with these changes. Bait is very thick migrating through the area and has Dolphin and Tuna in close to shore. Live bait has always been the most productive for Dolphin but trolling gives you the ability to cover ground and find these fish. As our sea temperatures drop, this will change and mostly live bait will be the big producer.

 

Sailfish activity is also on the rise. At this time of year, the smaller, younger Sails frequent shallow waters near the reef. Some bigger Sailfish are a bit further off shore and again found on the troll.

 

Bottom fishing has been excellent! Grouper and Amberjack have been found on the deeper wrecks with the occasional Snapper or Cobia as well. There are some BIG fish down there… We don’t always win this battle. Some broken leaders have us wondering what that was and how big. LOL

 

All in all it is a great time to be out there catching fish as you can see in the picture. Andrew and his new wife Jessica had a great day with us catching a variety of fish. They could only hold 4 for the picture on the way in.

 

This week’s fishing has been good. We’re expecting the same for the next few weeks.

 

Captain Steve

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Fall Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Our first cold front is passing through the Fort Lauderdale area as I write this fishing report. And just those few degrees less are already making changes in our fishing.

 

The biggest change is our sea temperatures. If you’ve ever snorkeled in warm waters like we have here in the summer, as you return to the surface, you go through a thermocline. The water’s surface is much warmer than the sea beneath it. Looking through your mask, it appears as if someone smeared Vaseline on glass, it gets blurry. Being cold blooded, fish don’t care for that temperature change or blurred vision.

 

As the days get shorter with less sun and the cooler air temps, the ocean surface is closer, if not the same, as the water below. This increases a fish’s ability to feed on the surface. So we go from depending on our deep lines for bites to most everything we have out.

 

Another plus is north winds. North winds create swells that allow some fish to be helped migrating south. Specifically, I’m speaking about Sailfish. With winds from the north, they can “surf” the surface of the wave. This is known as “tailing”. It’s time to stop trolling and get the kites out!

 

But that’s what is coming soon. What has been happening is some good Dolphin and Kingfish action. The bottom fishing has also been producing some good sized fish as is in the picture of this group from Denver. Nolan, the smallest, caught this Greater Amberjack, with help from dad and his brother. Grouper and a few early Cobia are also being caught.

 

With a bit of tropical wetness coming tomorrow and another cold front on its heels? Well, just going fishing in low 80’s will be a pleasure. As for what we will catch? Let’s find out.

 

Captain Steve

Posted in Kids Fishing, Sport

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First Deep Sea Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingIt is time for your FIRST deep sea fishing trip. You are on vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood or Miami with your family and one of the things you have decided to do is go fishing on the deep blue sea. You are excited for yourself and your family.

 

There are both pros and cons to having novices on board. One pro is you have no bad habits to break. A few TV shows might have influenced you but that’s not too bad. One con is you have much to learn and it usually involves a fish on the end of the line. A great way to start!

 

Now our family today was from the Chicago-land area. Brian and his family were aboard for their first deep sea fishing trip. They brought ample food and drinks and were generous with what they had brought. And our first fish was a Kingfish that we lost on the way to the boat.

 

Did I do something wrong??? It’s almost hard not to smile when we are asked this question. The truth is you can do everything right and still lose a fish. Or you can do it all wrong, and I mean wrong! And you still land one. It’s all part of the game.

 

Now Brian and his family had a great trip. They didn’t know what to expect so they expected nothing. It’s hard to disappoint someone with that attitude. They caught some Kings, a few Snappers and a Sailfish, the real brass ring on this trip.

 

We will now have a problem if and when Brian and his family return. You see, he thinks this will happen on every trip. How I wish it could but that isn’t always the case. But for the moment, may he enjoy his first deep sea fishing trip and his prize, which will be featured in the basement game room.

 

Thank you Brian, you were wonderful guests.

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Great

Posted on by Captain Steve

Our latest cold front has made the Fort Lauderdale fishing great! The weather has been picture perfect lately. A cold, or should I say “cool” front came through and while the temps dipped, the fishing took off. We are having great luck as of late and the last few days are providing a sailfish bonanza!

 

Shark sightings have been frequent with Hammerheads, Sand Bar, Bull and other species. I am surprised if we don’t get the bite when fishing the big baits. Small and good sized Blackfin Tuna are also in our area. The Kingfish have been extremely sparse but Bonitos have been making up for their absence. Bottom fishing is improving as well.

 

But it’s that north wind that creates the swell and the Sailfish are surfing down the seas. Riding near the surface, Sailfish actually ride the wave aiding them to swim south for the migration. In this form, they look nothing like you see in the picture here today. Their fins are all tucked in, they have pockets that encase the fins, and their color is grey. When the water is that deep ocean blue? They stand out like sore thumbs.

 

This is called “tailing” and you may see just one at a time. But they can also come in bunches and if they get excited when seeing the bait? They “light up”! All their colors come out and they transform from slender grey fish to almost black. Their sails add size and have bright blues with dots that look electric. They become aggressive and even fight over a single bait. Once they bite? It is up to you, our angler, to make it all come together.

 

Jim, Karen, Mike and Jamie from Minnesota had just this day. We caught 2 sails, missed 2 other bites and had another fish on that may or may not have been a Sailfish. The line parted before we ever saw it, disappointing after the 20 minutes we fought it.

 

We usually release Sails, as we did the first they caught but after almost 50 minutes of battle, this fish was exhausted and we couldn’t revive it.  It will make a beautiful trophy in their home.

 

So what is it that makes Fort Lauderdale fishing great? Just being here and doing it. So… where are you? J

 

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Sailfish

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Sailfish

Fort Lauderdale SailfishAs we begin the New Year I always look forward to Fort Lauderdale Sailfish fishing. It is one of our most exciting fish to catch just a mile or two off our coast. While we can catch Sailfish year round in any month, it is at this time of year we target them. They migrate through our coastal area heading south and if you’ve never caught a billfish? You’re in for a real treat!

 

From now until May, live bait will be the most productive, usually presented in kite fishing. Kite fishing usually allows you to “see the bite” as the fish approaches the bait held on the surface. Sometimes their sail is up out of the water, other times just the bill slashing at the bait attracts your attention. And if the fish eats the bait? Patience is a true virtue. Don’t come tight too quickly or you will pull the bait from his mouth.

 

A text book bite is the fish takes the bait and swims 10 to 20’ down and away. He will stop and at this point, he is adjusting the bait in his mouth so that he can swallow it head first. He may then swim another short distance and stop again. But once he begins his run with speed? You count to 3 and push up the drag.

 

If you’re fishing circle hooks, there’s no need to “set the hook”. Just coming tight with the fish takes care of that. J hooks do require some winding and setting of the hook. And at this point? He’s either on or gone.

 

Most sailfish jump when hooked but not all. There have been times we’ve fought a fish for 20 to 30 minutes before he presents himself. And if all goes well? You’ll have him boat side in 30 minutes or less. Don’t get anxious when he’s close, this is a critical time to play things smooth and easy. Give him some line if he needs it.

 

We release most Sailfish here in Fort Lauderdale. Even when you see a picture as I have here today, the fish was released and swam away. We have a tube that delivers salt water to the fish as we boat, measure, tag and photograph to keep him happy and healthy. And this way we can help our Fort Lauderdale Sailfish season be great year after year.

 

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

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Last Fishing Charter

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charter

Fishing CharterOur last fishing charter trip of this year will happen sometime tomorrow. Christmas week, those days between Christmas and New Year’s, is always a busy week for us. This year the weather has been perfect, with little rain and mostly calm seas and sunny skies, which Fort Lauderdale is known for.

 

I’ll be re-setting the boat’s trip log Sunday. This year we covered over 10,000 nautical miles while fishing. Considering our average speed is less than 5 knots, with most those miles either trolling or live baiting? Well, I thought it is kind of a neat fact, maybe you will too.

 

You may have noticed that the picture for this report was taken in the dark. It happens quite often around sunset, a Sailfish will bite and it makes for a difficult fight. With almost no winds, we had opted for live Ballyhoo and small bullet Bonitos for live bait from the riggers. Blackfin Tuna and Kingfish were really our target. But when this fish bit? Opportunity met preparation and the game was on!

 

The battle began with dad Mark in the chair. His son was video graphing the fight and this fish was angry and taking line. This became a family affair after a few minutes and the younger Mark took over.

 

This fight went on for 45 minutes. We would gain some line and then the fish would take some away. Captain Adam was in the pit and as the light faded from sunset, his guidance of where the fish was helped me follow this fish. By the time we had the fish next to the boat? A flashlight was needed to help spot the fish so it could be boated, measured, tagged and released. Once the fish was taken off the salt water hose, we got a few pictures before reviving and releasing the fish.

 

We at Fanntastic Fishing promote the tagging and release program on all our fishing charters. It protects the fisheries of these magnificent sport fish and we learn of the great distances they travel in migration.

 

Have aa very safe and Happy New Year.

 

Captain Steve

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