Posts Tagged "Sailfish"

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

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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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Family Fishing Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale fishing

With Christmas just a few days away the Holiday rush is nearly upon us. The week between Christmas and New Year is full of families visiting Fort Lauderdale and family fishing trips are most of what we do. The last few days have been just that, 2 days, 2 families and 2 very different results.

Fishing reports are supposed to let you what’s going on, the trends, but this report will show what actually happens from day to day.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday morning trips were family fishing trips. Both trips left at the same time, returned at the same time and were virtually fishing the same way in a close proximity of each other. Our first group, which is pictured, had a ball on their trip catching fish. Kingfish and Blackfin Tune were abundant. We actually had trouble getting our full spread of trolling baits out without catching or missing a fish and this went on for about an hour. We simply could not get all our rods and lines in the water without having to stop to retrieve a fish or re-rig from missing one. While live baiting on this trip slowed the action, a few more nice sized Kings and missing a Sailfish was included. Rich and his family had a ball.

With such success the day before our method didn’t change. Jeffery and his 3 boys were on time and ready. Our efforts proved almost fruitless. Other than baitfish, we just couldn’t seem to get a bite. Well, we did have 2 bites… One was an UFO… unknown fishy object. We never saw the fish and pulled the hooks about 40’ from the boat. We also had a large Silky shark eat most of a bait but managed not to eat the hooks, frustrating to say the least. However, Jeffery and the boys still had a great time. We did manage a nice Barracuda at the end of the trip but it was our only boated fish.

Both days were calm seas and semi sunny skies. On a humorous note, Jeffery brought his own “tilt alarm”. Now, there is no such thing as a tilt alarm for when the boat rocks and there were some swells that second day. Jeffery’s youngest Will was not happy about the rocking and went off each time the boat rocked. The minor moral victory was had when Will, who wanted to go in at first, was disappointed that our time was up and made dad promise to do this again.

It’s not always about what you catch, family fishing trips are about family time and having fun. Something we try and do each and every trip. Sometimes it’s about the ones you miss or that get away. That’s where fishing stories come from.

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingWhat should be in a Fort Lauderdale fishing report? Should it be about the people and trips we’ve run recently? Perhaps the current trends of our fishing? At times, I even try to predict what to expect if and when you come fishing with us. That’s like trying to predict the weather without all the equipment they have to help them. LOL

 

Well, right now Fort Lauderdale is experiencing some great weather and some very good fishing. With our daytime highs in the very low 80’s and abundant sunshine, that alone is what you want for any visit here. And should you take advantage of our ocean, you’ll be pleasantly surprised in what we are catching.

 

As expected, Dolphin have been being caught. On shore winds have brought these fish in closer to shore and they are enjoying he feast of Ballyhoo and Flying fish for bait. Most have been smaller fish with a few “gaffers”. But it is always nice to have them around and we hope for more to come.

 

While we are still doing some trolling, most fish are being taken on live bait. On days when the winds are blowing, kite fishing has had excellent results. Sailfish are the intended target but Dolphin and Kingfish have also been joining in. A few sharks as well have shown up. Just a few days ago, we caught the smallest Bull shark I’ve ever seen at about 4’. Quite a feat on the light tackle we were using.

 

The Sailfish have been spread out in the depths. The best range recently has been between 100 and 200’ of water but we had one on inside the reef yesterday and a few have been caught outside 400’ of water.

 

The picture we have today has Captain Adam on the left. When he is not working the drift boat he is my deck tech and an excellent one at that. And when you can get 6 people behind one Sailfish? You know it’s a big one! We had 5 shots at Sails that day and only caught this one. It is not always game, set, match when they bite.

 

Great weather and very good fishing is what this Fort Lauderdale fishing report is about. I, for one, hope both continue.

 

Captain Steve

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The Bite Is On

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingWith our first cold front plunging temperatures into the mid 70’s… I know, not much of a cold front unless 90’s have been your norm… we have had some great fishing! Cooler sea temps have giving us better action on the surface baits and with that? Live bait and flying fishing kites has become the best fishing technique to produce bites. Sailfish, Dolphin, small sharks and Kings have all been attracted to the surface to eat. And as we get further into our cooler months, this will improve.

 

Kite fishing has been around for a long time. The idea behind it is live or dead bait supported on or near the surface. When fish feed, they chase baits up through the depths to the surface where it is easier to catch. The kite takes care of step one. It is also nice to “see” the bite. Many times you can see what’s been attracted and lately, that has been Sailfish.

 

Sailfish is one of the most fun fish we catch for sport. They are strong, acrobatic and absolutely phenomenal in their ability to elude capture. They don’t know we intend to release them, their edibility is poor. Being the Florida State fish, a sport fish and somewhat endangered, we try and release them. It is rare you will see one hanging at the dock anymore unless we cannot revive the fish at sea, as we have in the picture today. These bigger fish fight very hard and expend lots of their energy. Landing them quickly helps us to revive them. This fight took over 40 minutes.

 

Small Kingfish and some Dolphin have been filling in some of our time as well. If our history of the last few years runs true, expect more picture of some nice sized Dolphin as well. December and January have been excellent months for these fish the last 3 years or so.

 

Bottom fishing has also been good. Mutton Snappers, Yellowtails and Amberjacks have been biting both deep and shallow.

 

So what will today bring? We never know. But we’re ready for whatever the fish gods offer. Come join us.

 

Captain Steve

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