Posts Tagged "Shark"

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Good

Posted on by Captain Steve

Texas fishing

The this week has been pretty good in Fort Lauderdale fishing. We’ve had some great weather, that is if you like soft breezes, calm seas and sunny skies. And while I personally would like to see some improvement with the Dolphin fishing, on other fronts our guests are quite happy.


We had Wendy and the boys the other day and they were quite happy with what we’d caught on the reef area. Bonitos, Kingfish and some small Blackfin Tuna have been making things fun. Our attempt at catching “The BIG one” failed which disappointed me but not the group. Hey, if you don’t try? You’ll never know…


And then there was Mark, just 1 man for an afternoon trip. Now, you might think only catching 2 fish on a 4 hour trip isn’t very good. But when you fight the first one for 30 minutes and the second for over an hour? That can take up some of your fishing time! Mark was quite pleased with both his battles.


A video has been posted on our Facebook page of a Spinner shark we caught yesterday as well as a picture here. This fight also took up some of our time but was well worth it for Eduardo and his family. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it at Facebook under Fanntastic Fishing. We will also be starting an Instagram page, as soon as I figure out how to use it. LOL Maybe my daughter can help with that.


The off shore scene has been more miss than hit with Dolphin. This time of year used to be our BEST fishing for Dolphin. When we have found them, many have been too small to keep. But again, if you don’t try… everything changes and at any time. Further out the Swordfish bite has been pretty good. I have to rely on feedback from others on that note, we haven’t been out fishing for Swords now in a few weeks.


Well, that’s it for our Fort Lauderdale fishing this week. For a more up to date report, just drop us a line or give me a call.


Captain Steve

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Sandbar Shark Makes Fishing Day

Posted on by Captain Steve

Sandbar fishing

SandbarIt is not always that people that fish with us here in Fort Lauderdale want to catch something big. Many times they just want fish and the focus is not on something large. But when Tom and Brian showed up at the dock early today, their goal was hoping to catch a shark… A BIG shark! And with a 6 hour trip ahead of us, we felt we had time to a little regular fishing as well as target something big.


With light winds and only a slight chop on the seas, we ventured out to find some green water as far as the eye could see. Not a bad color water for Tuna, Kingfish or shark, but not great for Dolphin. We spent our first few hours trolling and caught some Kings and small Bonitos on the reef area fairly close to shore. With a limit of only 2 per person, our Kingfish limit was reached and we ventured out to where the big ones are.


This is where patience is important… You usually have to wait for your bite and after deploying our baits? We waited and waited… And waited… The light current today was not helping our quest. The current carries the scent and predators down current pick this up and follow it to our baits. And after over 2 hours of this, we were running out of time.


I have to commend both Tom and Brian. They were quite content with what we had already caught and were willing to tough it out. Go big or go home. Their perseverance paid off.


Our bottom rod took a big bounce, relaxed and then doubled over as line peeled off. It takes a mere second to go from waiting to action and now we had other baits to clear before the fight began. With Brian in the big chair, he began following first mate Adam’s instructions as I kept the boat over the fish. At times, we couldn’t budge this stubborn fish that had yet to be identified, other times we were able to retrieve some line, only to lose it again as the fish kept peeling line on his runs.


It took Brian about 30 minutes to get the fish close enough to the boat for our first sighting which didn’t last long, the fish took off and was deep again. We knew it was a shark, just not sure what kind. Another 10 minutes and he was back at the boat and finally under our control  to be boated, measured, tagged and released… Sandbar Sharks are protected.


I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is to see a customer so excited about his catch. The picture tells the story as Adam holds the shark’s mouth open and Brian in the back. We opened the transom door and the fish literally swam out the back of the boat and into the water. He wasted no time in leaving our area


Thanks To and Brian for your attitude in what we do. You make our job easy.


Captain Steve

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Shark Sailfish Dolphin Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charters

With April almost upon us we look forward to spring fishing here off Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Florida. But our winter has been pretty good compared to the last 3 years with a mix of some Shark, Sailfish and Dolphin activity.

While the winter time is our most productive time of year for Sailfish, this year was better than recent years. Not in the numbers we like to see and certainly not consistent but we’ve had a good showing, especially recently. At this point in time, we’ll be seeing these fish moving both directions in their migration patterns as opposed to south in the winter. Believe me, there’s nothing more exciting that getting one of these on your line, even for guys like me who have been doing this for years!

I chose this picture of the Sailfish because it shows the entire fish. This particular fish was 87”. If you look closely, you’ll see a clear tube which feeds the fish we boat seawater to help them survive as we measure and tag them before their release. Preserving our fishery is very important to us and we do this with most boated game and sport fish.

April also brings some Shark activity. To this point we have had some good results when trying for something big but that’s going to improve, it always does, Thresher, Hammerhead, Bull, Sandbar, Tiger and Dusky Sharks just to name a few. It is this time of year that landing any other fish becomes difficult because of the predators eating your catch before you can land it. Reel quickly or you might end up with just the head of a fish on your line…

Dolphin are generally caught in the late spring and early summer but this year we’ve had good to excellent results through the winter. A trip just the other day produced a nice catch of some schoolie Dolphin and a few big ones to round out the field. Usually when a catch like this happens, it all happens at once but this day offered bite after bite with the fish hitting in pairs. Most the fish were in the 6 to 8 lbs. range with a few in the low teens to round things out. We had to almost force them to take a few to a local restaurant to be prepared but the rest? Well, my wife has a killer recipe for Dolphin… 

The weather is warming, the fish are on the move and things are heating up toward some excellent fishing. Sharks, Sailfish and Dolphin are just the tip of the iceberg but certainly part of the main group. It gets easy writing fishing reports this time of year…

Captain Steve

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Swordfish Trip Lands Thresher Shark

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing Charters

No matter how well you plan a fishing trip it doesn’t always work out the way you might think. While most trips aren’t set for a specific fish, our Swordfish fishing trips kind of are. Swordfish are the target as to the distance we have to travel to get to the grounds. But there are plenty of other fish along the way.

Our nighttime trips are pretty much just Swordfish as we travel out as the sun sets. But the daytime trips can offer Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna and Marlin on the way to the grounds. It is also nice to be able to see the fish you’re catching whether you are bringing him up from depth or having him strike from the surface. Daneane got to see her fish coming in, a Dolphin weighing about 8 lbs.

Once we reached the Swordfish grounds, our first drop got no attention. Fishing in such deep water on the bottom poses all kinds of problems and it takes touch to know your bait is in the right position. Our electric reel tells us how much line is out and that first drop had over 2500’. We gave it 45 minutes, retrieved it and reset a little deeper.

The second drop was down about 30 minutes when a bump was felt. With all that line out, that’s about all you see too, just a bump. Was he there? Had he eaten? Sean began bringing the bait up and it slowed a few times, even took a little drag out. I think we’ve got one!!!

You may think pushing a button is easy to reel a fish in but the only thing different about it is you’re not winding the reel, a motor is. You still have to fight the fish. When he pulls, you have to ease off and when he’s coming at you, you have to be on him, ready to change in a flash. And then our fish did his run…

The counter was now at almost 5,000’ of line out and we were dealing with about 3 knots of current. This fish was also pulling much harder than most swordfish which meant either he was a huge one, foul hooked or maybe something else. We would find out just over an hour later.

The weight was up and off now and we still had over 150’ of line out, all leader now. Slowly the line kept retrieving and finally some color was seen. It took another few minutes before we could identify our Thresher shark and realize he was foul hooked in the dorsal fin.

ThresherThreshers have an unusually long tail that they use to strike their prey. A swift flick can stun almost any fish and they can use it with a high degree of accuracy. It’s not uncommon to bring these fish in backwards by the tail but with this fish hooked in the top of the dorsal, we were bringing him up sideways from over 1800’ of water. He measured out at 128”. In the picture, that’s Sean holding the tail…

There are 2 kinds of Thresher sharks, the Big Eye and Small Eye. Big Eye Threshers are protected by law and this fish was released, the hook still in him and will bare him no harm. After all, piercings are in these days to some…

So while we did not catch a Sword this trip, there were no unhappy faces aboard as we watched this fish swim lazily away and down. And a fine dinner was provided by the Dolphin in the box.

Captain Steve

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Fanntastic Fishing Summertime Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

Girls fishing trip

With summertime in full swing these days, Fanntastic Fishing is seeing more kids on board our fishing trips. Long days and no school bring the local, as well as the tourist, families out in droves. And the GREAT thing about fishing with kids is their excitement over each and every fish that is caught.

Summertime fishing brings the Bonitos to our area. Not great table fare for sure, but excellent fighters and plentiful. It’s not unusual to catch a dozen or so of these fish fairly quickly and usually more than one on at a time. The early morning and late afternoons will have them attacking the tops baits. As the day wears on, they move deeper and hit the deep lines when trolling.

The Kingfish are also plentiful this time of year, if the Bonitos will allow them to get a bait or two. They range in the 8 to 10 lbs. class but some bigger ones can be caught on both dead and live bait. They don’t pull quite as hard as the Bonitos but can be eaten. The smaller the better and always should be eaten fresh, within a few days.

Since trolling is our norm this time of year, wahoo, Dolphin and the occasional Sailfish are also possible. When the clean ocean waters come close to shore, these fish can be had just a few miles off the beach. Venturing further can be advantageous if you can find weed lines or floating debris. These offer the fish off shore a floating reef for protection. The Dolphin are generally small this time of year and many don’t meet the minimum requirements. But Dolphin are the fastest growing fish in the ocean and today’s throwbacks are tomorrows keepers.

Our larger game fish like sharks are becoming more and more scarce. Evening trips are the best time for these fish and can be found in shallow waters not far from shore once the sun goes down. But this is fishing and there’s always a chance during the day for a Hammerhead, Thresher, Dusky, Sandbar or Bull shark.

Bottom fishing has been productive with small Snapper and Grey Tilefish. It takes a lot of cranking to catch these fish in 300-400’ of water but you bring them up in numbers, usually 3 to 5 each time. The days that only one comes up makes it a little tough but the meal at the end is worth it. And there’s always a chance for a Grouper to pass by and bite.

The picture I chose of this young girl was our trip the other day. The kids were young and did struggle with the rods but she beat her brother and cousins by claiming the largest fish caught. This Kingfish was more than enough to feed the entire family and was cleaned and taken to the restaurant next door for dinner. The rest of the fish that were caught were left for bait. The Bonitos provide us with strip baits we use throughout the year for trolling.

Summertime fishing trips at Fanntastic Fishing can be loads of fun, especially for the kids. Bring lots of water… It’s hot out there, but not as hot as shore.

Captain Steve

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Fort Lauderdale Great Fishing Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

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

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

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

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

Captain Steve

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Great All Day Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Charter Boats Ft Lauderdale

You never know what will happen on an all-day fishing trip here in Fort Lauderdale. Our group today had fished the afternoon the day before with poor results, my day off. So when they showed up to the dock on the absolutely gorgeous day, a few things were straightened out, since I was the new guy. LOL

Dan was the first of the party I met. We want edible fish he said even before we had been introduced. I already was aware of this as Darren had fished him the day before and we had already formed a plan for our outing. A fresh fish dinner was on our schedule for these folks and we had all day to fill the plates.

Along with Dan came Scott, Brad and Amanda. Their food and beverages were loaded which included a bottle of Crown and we were off for our day. The weather was absolute perfect. Clear skies, light winds, calm seas and a perfect temperature. You get that at the end of March.

Trolling was first up and as soon as we began, the first 2 baits out each were eaten by Bonitos. Well, that didn’t take long and our group was already happy to be catching fish and an improvement from the day before. All except Dan who mentioned that Bonitos weren’t very good to eat. Dan would turn out to be quite the character on this trip.

We continued on and caught a few Kingfish, all small ones. When it comes to eating Kingfish, the smaller, the better, as they have less oil in the meat. A few more Bonitos followed and all in all we had ourselves a pretty good box of fish. Even if our deep drop plans didn’t work out, food had been provided.

As we neared the midpoint of our trip, we made our move to provide a bit taster treat for our guests and headed to deeper water and some fishing with the electric reel. Black Bellied Rose fish and Golden Tilefish were our target. This kind of fishing is done with an electric reel because of the depth we have to fish in, between 600’ and 900’ of water with a 6 to 10 pound weight attached. It’s a chore just to bring the rig up with nothing on it, much less with fish.

Our first drop offered us quite the surprise. In almost 800’ of water fishing the bottom, only a few bites were shaking the tip. As our prey was retrieved, a surprise showed up along with the 2 Rosies we’d caught… A very large Dusky shark! We threw a few pieces of cut bait in to keep him interested and asked if anyone would like to catch this large creature. The response was YES!

So Darren quickly rigged a bait and pitched it on the right tackle to this shark that was hanging around waiting for more food. And who gets the call to fight the fish first? Amanda. Little Amanda who might weigh 100 lbs. Maybe.
IMG_0598 Amanda
Dusky sharks are quite rare, they have been protected for years here in Florida. This one was one of the largest I’d ever seen, they usually are around 6’ to 7’ in our area. Amanda was in the seat using the bucket and fighting this fish with some help from all. Dan was jabbering about something, Scott was observing and Brad was taking pictures of his fiancé fighting the fish. It took a while but soon enough we had the fish boatside for pictures, measurements and release.

Now, just a note here. Many times when we fight fish, I do not have time to snap a pic or 2. In these cases, I always ask the guest to send me the shots they took. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. I would find out soon enough that Brad had every intention of giving me what he taken. 8 videos and over 100 shots, presented to me at the dock on a thumb drive. Talk about a photo service!

Once the shark was released we went back to what we needed to do. A new spot got us some Rosies and 1 Golden Tilefish to add to the bounty. Plenty for dinner tonight and tomorrow. And Dan was finally quiet and happy.

We’re always fighting the clock to provide fish on a half day trip but an all-day fishing trip gives us ample opportunity to do many things. Now let’s take a look at that thumb drive…

Captain Steve

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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

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Thresher Shark Makes Birthday Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve


On some occasions it is the people we have on board, not the fish that make a trip exceptional. Today I had the great pleasure of meeting Katie, a young woman who was celebrating her 15th birthday with her dad Jay and best friend Bailey. We were out for the day and the day was not exactly the Chamber of Commerce type day Fort Lauderdale likes to talk about.

Grey skies with rain forecast and a chop on the seas was not what you’d hope for on your birthday. And with a storm not too far from us, we decided to put the kites up quickly right by the sea buoy for what we hoped was a quick bite of a Sailfish.

The kites were only up for about 30 minutes before we had to retrieve them because of the rain. We had seen 1 small Dolphin which was too small to eat the live bait. We began trolling in light rain and hopefully finding an area where the rain would stop and we could back to our quest.

Trolling turned out to be quite fun. A few Blackfin Tunas were caught, one nice sized… A Kingfish, 2 Mahi-mahis and a few Bonitos too. The girls did all the reeling as dad sat and watched. The rain was still light and that’s unusual here, it usually lasts no more than 30 minutes.

After a few hours of trolling and catching some nice fish we decided that we should try for something big. Katie had wanted a Sailfish and we hadn’t seen one trolling but with the rain still lightly coming down, flying the kites just wasn’t an option. So we put out some big baits and waited to see what might come along.

A short break in the rains had us putting our kites up but it was only for a few minutes before it began again and we had to retrieve them before they fell from the sky. And that’s when the bottom rod went thump… It was a soft pull. Almost like we’d hung something in the bottom, and then released. I had moved the boat ahead and then stopped to see if it was bottom or a bite. Again it began to pull down the rod very softly and this time I didn’t stop. The rod bent and I still wasn’t sure if it was a bite or hung. Dave came running and began winding on the rod and screaming GO! He could feel what I couldn’t see. We had ourselves a sea monster on here!

Now this is where Katie really impressed me. I’ve been doing this a long time with all kinds of people. Young or old, male and female, every type of person from novice to experienced. We had a big fish on here and now, the rains had really started coming down. It wasn’t raining anymore, it was pouring! And here comes young Katie in her shirt and shorts, plops her butt into the fighting chair, grabs the rod and begins to reel! She was not fazed in the least that buckets of water were pouring on her. She had her birthday wish and was going to land this fish no matter what.

After about 30 minutes we got our first look at this fish. But the look was only a glance as the shark we’d hooked took 300’ of line away in just seconds and it took another 20 minutes to get him back up to the boat. A Thresher Shark had taken our bait and was quite a big one too… probably 3 times Katie’s size and over 5 times her weight. She never faltered or complained, never whined she couldn’t do it. She just held that rod and wound with Bailey’s help on the handle and they giggled the entire time.

It’s not an easy task to measure a live fish and we came up with 12’10” long and a weight in the area of 500 lbs. Big Eye Threshers are protected by law so after a few pictures that weren’t so great because my phone was soaked, we released this fish and watched him swim away. A magnificent fish caught by an exceptional angler. I couldn’t have been more proud of her tenacity. Oh, BTW, that’s her in the green.

And with the release, we headed home. Our guests were beaming and they should have been too. And up on the flybridge, soaked to the bone? Well, it’s days like this that keep me coming back for more.

Captain Steve

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Hollywood Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

kids fishing

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

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

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

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

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

Captain Steve

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