Posts Tagged "Sailfish"

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

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , ,

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Trends

Posted on by Captain Steve

sean catch fish

Fort Lauderdale FishingThe Fort Lauderdale fishing trends are changing as we speak. Just moving that sun a bit south and the shortened days have already had a profound effect on the water temperatures. Because of the cooler water, the fish are more apt to feed in the higher areas bringing live bait into the picture. And we have tons of live bait around right now.

 

With the recent windy conditions, we have had some choppy seas. Waves break up the reflection of sunlight into the water and this allows more freedom for feeding fish. Our trolling days are becoming less and less and live baits are becoming more productive.

 

Sailfish have already been showing up with some consistency. They have been feeding mostly on flying fish and Ballyhoo. Just a few weeks ago they would barely touch a live bait but the Fort Lauderdale fishing trends are making live bait the way to go. So if a Sailfish is on your list of things to catch, you might consider investing in a dozen Goggle eyes, with the wind, the kites will be flying.

 

Large Kingfish are also in the mix. I have one picture here with Captain Jimmy from our drift boat, the Lois Ann. This was the biggest of 8 he caught the other day along with some snappers off the bottom.

 

The other picture is of Sean, the mate on my boat. We spent the day fishing live baby Bonitos from the riggers. Wes, from Texas, and his two sons were on board and we had hit after hit ending up with a nice catch of fish. We missed twice as many as we caught and were sorry the Sails we saw didn’t give a chance but all in all it was a great day. The rain had our group headed for their car at the end, Sean was the only one that would pose. Well, he was dressed for the weather. LOL

sean

The Fort Lauderdale fishing trends are changing. Less trolling and more time waiting for the bigger fish that visit us in the cooler months. Sounds a bit like our tourist visitors that will soon want to escape the cold from up north. Our first real cold front is here right now, posting lows in the high 60’s. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… LOL

 

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , ,

Great Time Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale FishingIt is impossible not to have a great time fishing right now. Coming back from 2 days off to find the fish snapping was a great surprise. While the Kingfish on the reef had been biting well, Dolphin and Sailfish have joined the mix and with some numbers! And trolling has been the most productive.

 

The winds have been from the northeast, our best fishing wind and seas have been running around 3 to 4′. It’s been a little choppy out there but the good fishing certainly makes up for it. Even after doing this for over 40 years, I am excited and having a great time fishing not knowing what the next bite will bring.

 

Our guests are just happy catching fish the entire trip without much waiting. And the best part is the action once the Dolphin or Sailfish bite. You aren’t just reeling in a fish that you don’t see till it is boated. You are getting to see him “air out” when he jumps! And most do just that. Dolphin jump almost every time and Sailfish? Well, they can fool you, they might jump on the hook up or they might wait for some time into the fight before showing themselves. And my favorite is when they wait till at the boat just 10′ or so away and come shooting out of the water. You go from knowing you’ve got something big on to OMG! Have those cameras ready, it’s a pristine Kodak moment!

 

While pitching live bait to Dolphin and Sailfish has been working, that is sight fishing, when they are close. But these days trolling has been outproducing the kites and live bait 10 fold. We caught 2 Sails at the same time on the troll in the morning, just little guys and a nice BIG one in the afternoon. But no matter the size, they are a blast! The smaller ones are posted on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/

 

All I know is you will have a great time fishing right now. The bite is on and I can’t wait to get back out there!

 

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: ,

Fishing After Matthew

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingFishing after Matthew has been great and it has been awhile since my last fishing report, we have been a little busy down here. With the threat of hurricane Matthew, we had much to do. Moving the boats, securing the marina and our homes in preparation for what was a very strong storm took precedent. Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Miami were spared the wrath of this storm. We were extremely lucky.

 

With that said, we returned the boats to the dock the day after Matthew and were fishing Saturday. And what a pleasant surprise the fishing was too! First bait in the water not 10’ from the boat and we had a fish on! Sorry it took so long folks. LOL

 

Kingfish have been small but plentiful. Catching our limit has been easy trolling the reef area. A few Bonito mixed in and this is the time of year the Dolphin come in shallow to feed on the Ballyhoo. While most are caught in deeper water, it’s not unusual to see them in only 20’ of water just a few hundred yards from the beach chasing baits.

 

Bait is another thing that has been prominent around. Flying Fish, Sardines, Mullet have all been on the move and this attracts fish. Skipjack Tuna is another fish usually caught further from shore but we got 6 the other day while fishing the reef.

 

With all this bait around, things are changing as our weather finally cools. Sea temperatures are falling, somewhat drastic after the storm passed, and this gets fish on the move. Our area has always been like a highway for fish migrating, traversing the coast. We will be switching from trolling to live bait soon and are expecting great things. It is almost time for the Sailfish, one of our favorite sport fish, to arrive in numbers.

 

Yes, fishing after Matthew has been very good and if you’re in the area? Take advantage of the bounty. I’ve included a couple of pictures including a rare one with me in it. I’m usually doing the taking. kathleen

 

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , , ,

Fishing This Week

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Fort Lauderdale FishingOur fishing this week in Fort Lauderdale was somewhat of a whirlwind of trips. This is our slow season, what with the kids back in school and few people traveling. We spend some of our time at the dock rather than fishing, sprucing up the boats for what will soon be a busier time.

 

None the less, there still are a few people that want to be out there catching. Fishing this week with us were 2 guests from China. ZhouTong and Xin were with us for 2 full days. Now I wasn’t aware of the rest or their trip until we met that first morning. They have a 15 day trip planned visiting 13 states. That alone was quite ambitious. 2 of those fishing days were with us and the plans for both trips were laid out before we even met.

 

One day would be for fishing for Sailfish, other species allowed. The second day was to be spent bottom fishing, mostly Grouper. We had discussed all this in emails prior to the booking. I explained we might want to change things depending on conditions, swap days or whatever. None the less, the fishing this week was to involve these specific targets. Thank God they allowed other fish!

 

Day 1 was planned by catching live bait, Ballyhoo, trolling in search of good water and then doing our best with Sails. It began horribly, the bait would not bite and the Bermuda Chubs were so thick, the Ballyhoo wouldn’t come close to the boat to be netted. A quick trip to the sea buoy for runners also proved to be a flop as they were not eating because of the strong current and their “mood”. A captains worst nightmare had begun and we weren’t 90 minutes into the first of 2 all day trips.

 

Trolling proved productive with Kingfish and Bonitos on the reef area and we finally managed to net a few Ballyhoo at another location as the boys slept. Their trip had included a 12 hour drive from Texas the day before with little sleep last night.

 

A change of plans, some big baits out with a few “hoos” and we were fishing for something big! We hoped…And it didn’t take that long before a bite did come. It took about 30 minutes before we saw what we had hooked. It jumping and clearing the water by some 6’ just 200’ away was our prize, a 7’ Mako Shark! Tong was in the chair and the fish was not done fighting just yet. Another 10 minutes or so and we had our fish beside the boat being quite good as Liam held the leader. Actually, Liam was more excited about this fish than Tong or Xin, it was his first. They are spectacular animals with their bright blue color, pointed nose and rows of sharp teeth, an eating machine to say the least. This one was released and slowly swam away.

 

A few hours left in day one and it was time for the Sailfish part of our trip. This did take some time as we slowly bumped our live baits around with the dredge out. Dredge fishing is one of my favorite ways to fish. The dredge, which looks like a school of bait does some of the attracting and today it brought us our first of 3 Sailfish. He was right there, behind the dredge, piled on one of the baits and we were on! We missed a second fish while fighting the first and had another shot after the release but missed him as well. For a day that started so poorly, we ended up well.

 

Our second day did not have the same results. The baits were still not biting but we managed a few. Trolling north to the many wrecks, we spent much of our time dropping on different spots with poor results. Strong currents were causing the problems as we tried some semi deep spots, knowing the deep ones would be tough. Once again trolling saved us with a pair of nice Blackfin Tunas at the end of our trip. Other fish were also caught but compared to the day before? They just made me feel better. LOL

 

That is all for fishing this week. Now are you ready to hear about sanding and painting? I didn’t think so… Thanks for listening.

 

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , , , ,

Fishing with Kites

Posted on by Captain Steve

Kite Fishing

We talk about kite fishing in our fishing reports and to our guests at certain times a year. Many first timers have never seen it done and have no idea why it is so productive with certain species of fish so I thought I’d take a moment to explain the art of kite fishing.

To begin we have to look at nature and how animals eat. Most land based animals chase their prey down. Speed and agility are what allow them to catch prey and, of course, prey has the ability to escape. Some burrow in tunnels, some have tremendous speed and others might have armor or the ability to bite back, always a deterrent. Those that can escape by flying up or beneath the surface of the land have the best shot at living another day.

When fish are looking for food, they see up toward the surface. Bait fish are silhouetted by the light of day and are easily seen from below. Most fish chase the bait fish to the surface where escape must be done with moves right, left or speed straight ahead. By chasing a school of bait fish, the weak fall behind and are singled out, just as predators do on land with herds of animals.

So, now that we have shown that fish prefer to eat up near the surface of the water, here is where fishing with kites comes into play. We’ll just go ahead and create the perfect eating position for a fish by dangling a bait fish on the surface. Here it is… come and get it!

We happen to use two kites at a time usually, allowing us to present more baits for more opportunities. The kite is launched from the flybridge on its own rod and reel.  Clips similar to our outrigger clips are placed on the kite line in various ways and spaces and the kite is sent out away from the boat with a fishing line and bait that is also taken away from the boat. These clips are spring loaded and the tension is set so that when a fish eats the bait, the clip releases and the kite stays in the air. The fishing line also has the ability to slide through the clip so we can feed the fish without any kind of tension or pressure being felt by the fish.

Sailfish Caught On The Kite

Since our kites are essentially sky hooks and we’re dangling our baits on the surface, virtually no tackle is in the water for the fish to see. The bait fish is aware he is in a bad, unprotected place and constantly tries to swim deeper into the water where he has a chance to escape. That struggle sends out vibrations that predators feel, just like we hear, and they are attracted to investigate.

One of the great things about kite fishing is you usually get to see the bite when a fish comes along. Sailfish are usually quite obvious as they appear from the side or below the bait. Mahi-mahi are also quite easily seen streaking across the surface toward the bait. Fish like Tuna, Kingfish and a few others feed by accelerating toward the surface from beneath and are rarely seen before they make a splash at the bait’s position.

Bill's Sail

Depending on the type of fish eating, the line is either paid out to allow time for the fish to eat, or in some cases, the line is made tight to set the hook quickly. The boat is put in gear to help get some of the slack out, it does go all the way up to the kite line and back to the surface, and with luck, the hook is set, the clip releases the line and the angler is now tight with his fish.

Since fish like Sailfish and Mahi-mahi usually travel in groups, leaving the rest of the spread out can mean more hook ups. And of course, pitching baits from the boat aids this as well.

Sail Jump

While kite fishing is mainly done for catching Sailfish, almost any fish can be caught by this method. Live bait is best but dead bait can also be used. Sailfish have a very high rate of success fishing this way, around 80% or better. Other species, like Kingfish, have a lower rate of success, somewhere around 50%. It’s usually the smaller fish that escape.

While fishing with kites does have its advantages, there are disadvantages as well, but only a few with the main one being mobility. You are somewhat limited to where you can go with the baits up in the kites. Short of reeling everything in and re-setting, mobility is dependent on wind and current. So instead of finding the fish, you attract them to you. Other things we do aid this but… we can’t give all our secrets.

So now you have an idea of what the fishing kites do and how they work. In the winter months, our best time of year for fishing for Sailfish, you may be asked if you want to buy live bait. At least now you’ll know how they are used.

One thing about fishing is… It never works out well for the bait.

Captain Steve

Posted in Fishing Techniques and Tips

Tagged: , ,

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

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Christmas Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charters

With Christmas almost upon us and our busiest week of the year after that, I thought I’d fill you in on what’s been happening with our fishing recently.

With some rather gusty winds and sporty seas, fishing has been pretty good. Sailfish and Mahi-mahi have been the most prevalent fish around lately, some being caught on the troll but most being caught with live bait. Fishing with kites has been the most productive in water from 80’ out to over 300’. And multiple hook ups are not uncommon.

The Mahi’s have been mostly schoolie size, 5 to 12 lbs. with a few bigger ones as well and the Sailfish have ranged from small to huge, no telling what will bite. But that’s part of the game.

Scattered Kingfish on the reef are with a few nice ones being taken by live bait as well as some small Tuna and Bonitos. Bottom fishing has been tough as of late because of the windy conditions.

I always include a picture with my reports and today is no different. While not a monster to most, this young man caught the largest fish of his short fishing career, a 15 lbs. Wahoo that’s almost as long as he is tall. And it is that beaming smile upon his face and the pride of his father that has me choosing this picture. For almost 40 years I’ve been guiding folks to memorable trips at sea for fishing and it is these pictures that are most dear.

So in what will be my final report of this year, we at Fanntastic Fishing wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May we ALL prosper and catch LOTS of fish!

Tight Lines,
Captain Steve Souther

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , ,

Ladies Sport Fishing Fort Lauderdale

Posted on by Captain Steve

While a high percentage of our guests are men here in Fort Lauderdale, there are some ladies that also like sport fishing or just fishing in general. Today’s trip was a group of gals that were far from the ordinary.

Bachelor parties are somewhat common but bachelorette parties? That’s what was in store for us this afternoon when Chelsea and the girls showed up. Most were from the Carolinas and one was from Texas. They had their food and beverage, which included an ample supply of beer only proving that they know how to fish and we were off and on our way or a fun afternoon.

As Joe was putting out the lines our first strike came right away. The bride to be, Chelsea, was given the first fish and it turned out to be quite a fish! Her first Sailfish was on the line and jumping! Because only a few baits had been put out we had little to retrieve and were backing down quickly as Chelsea took in the line. And within 15 minutes, we were able to get a picture of Chelsea and her prize.

We quickly found out that these ladies were all about fishing. How did we do this or that and can I hold my fish… And winding? We had to ask a few of the girls to slow down some so they didn’t pull the face off the fish! Even after just a short time, the girls were beating Joe to the rods and setting their own hooks. And some bantering between them all as the fish kept rolling in.

All in all, they caught some Kingfish, Bonitos and a few Blackfin Tuna along with Chelsea’s Sailfish. And as we headed home from our fishing trip off Fort Lauderdale, the ladies realized they had another 12 pack in the fridge. Celebration time! I really enjoyed fishing with these gals…

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , , ,

The Perfect Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Charter Boats Ft Lauderdale

There are times our customers, or guests as I like to refer to them, have their own perceptions of what their perfect fishing trip is. But most our guests never know what to expect when they step onto our boats. They know they are going fishing but how and what happen are unknowns to many. They just board the boat and sit back for the ride.

For these people my idea of a perfect fishing trip is one where everyone catches something and then something cool to be brought in. Getting your hands on the rod, feeling the fish pull as you begin to wind. Maybe it pulls enough to make the drag slip out or maybe it doesn’t. The fish is soon at the boat and your job is done and done well.

Getting everyone a fish the last few months has been a struggle, to say the least. But it is with great glee that I say the tide has turned here in our area off the coast of Florida. With March came the fish and lots of them. Mahi-mahi showed up in good numbers and size. Kingfish began biting again as well as a few Bonitos close to the reef. Sharks of various species and Sailfish have also been caught in recent days like the one caught just 2 days ago in the picture.

And with ALL this action it’s so nice to see our customers smiling about their catches rather than our jokes and stories. But the true perfect fishing trip is the smile on the young man at the bottom here. While certainly no monster of the deep or trophy size catch, this young man caught the absolute BEST fish of his life all by himself. And that big smile he’s wearing, to me as a captain? That IS the perfect fishing trip!IMG_0196 smile

Captain Steve

Posted in Sport, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , , ,