Posts Tagged "Swordfish"

Daytime Swordfish Fishing

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Our most recent daytime Swordfish fishing trip was a HUGE success! The word from the Swordfish grounds had been great for the last week or so. And it just so happened we have a trip booked just for that!

Daytiming for Swordfish is highly specialized fishing. You’ll be between 1500 and 2000’ of water with a bait on or near the bottom. We use an electric reel for this. The main reason is… No one wants to wind up all that line and weight if you don’t get a bite and have to reset.

Our guests are local and it turns out the money they paid for their trip with was some lucky money won at the local Casino, compliments of the Indians. So we loaded up early and were off to the grounds.

Our boat make this trip in about 90 minutes from the dock. We did see a few things that looked promising on the way out but nothing panned out and our first drop got us a near instabite! The rod bent, the drag stalled and we were on!

This fish was a small one but still legal and it seemed like the bite was still good as we boated the fish without the use of a gaff. 50” lower jaw fork length and into the box he goes! A quick run in the boat to get back to our previous position and the second drop of the day was on its way down.

This time it took a bit longer to get a bite. We are tight again. This time it took 40 minutes before seeing this fish. He jumped about 150 yards from the boat and then again maybe 200’ from the boat.

This fish was bigger with a 57”LJF and we used the dart and then the gaff to boat him. It’s only 11:30 and we have 2 in the box!

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

All good things must come to an end. We again positioned ourselves in front of the fish and did get 2 more bites. But both came off around 800’ out. This was the story on the radio as well, bites but not staying hooked. None the less, our group was extremely happy with their bounty.

Daytime Swordfish fishing isn’t exciting when you’re doing it, not till you get that bite… Wait, that’s ALL fishing. LOL It’s the excitement of that coming bite that keeps us coming back.

Captain Steve

Posted in Fishing Techniques and Tips, Sport

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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fort Lauderdale Fishing

Cross this off my bucket list

Our daytime Swordfish trip ended a great week of Fort Lauderdale fishing. Schoolie Mahi-mahi invaded our off shore area with large amounts of seaweed making it hard to keep baits clean. But when they were clean, the fish had no problem biting well.

 

Most of the action was 5 to 10 miles from shore with huge areas of weed. These large beds make the perfect haven for small baitfish and food for the small Dolphin. While 30% had to be released because of their small size, it certainly didn’t take away from the action and fun of seeing these fish attack our baits. If you check out our Facebook page, you’ll see a video of these small fish swimming right behind the boat. .  https://www.facebook.com/Fanntastic-Fishing-1476203306014764/

 

With all this great Fort Lauderdale fishing action, I was quite excited when J. R. and his wife Nicole came across the state to go daytime dropping for Swordfish. With near calm seas and a bright sunny day we were off with high expectations, at least Hunter and I were. LOL JR expected nothing but a nice day.

 

There was an area we could have fished on the way out, it looked great for Mahi, but we continued a bit further. Our ultimate goal was a Sword so we pressed on.

 

Another area we found looked promising and we fished a bit but things thinned out so we again pushed for the Swordfish grounds. Our first drop hit the water at 10 am. We were connected at 10:20!

 

Hunter had just finished explaining how the electric reel we use worked when the rod tip tweaked. JR smashed the button and the rod bent over hard! Since we had just found the bottom again and come up a bit, I feared we had hung something. With 3.5 knots of current and over 2400’ of line out? It’s not always easy to tell.

 

But we were connected to a fish and a nice one at that! We gain some and then lose some, overall retrieving more than losing. The weight finally appeared and was removed only to have the fish take a few hundred feet of line from us. Keeping the fish stretched out away from the boat, he finally gave in and got close enough for the perfect dart shot from Hunter. That video is also on our Facebook page.

 

JR’s prize was now in the boat and it was only a little after 11 am. Well, I guess we’ll go enjoy some of this great Fort Lauderdale fishing and go try for Mahi’s. And we did. LOL

 

Captain Steve

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Daytime Swordfish Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Daytime Swordfish Trip

A daytime Swordfish trip is a bit different than the evening and nighttime trips. Other than the obvious ability to see during the day, nighttime trips allow for more rods to be in position to hook and catch Swordfish.

 

During a daytime Swordfish trip, only one rod is used to fish in depths of over 1500’ of water on the bottom and it is electric. With a 10 lbs. weight at minimum and over 2000’ feet of line out, no one wants to retrieve it if the bite doesn’t come.

 

But the really nice part about a daytime Swordfish trip is you aren’t just limited to catching Swordfish. As we travel the some 15 nautical miles from shore, we are always on the lookout for weed, birds and debris that can hold fish like Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo and more. High speed lures can also attract Marlin, Sailfish and other species.

 

Our group today was quite delighted with their daytime trip even though we didn’t land a Swordfish. As a matter of fact, we had to pry ourselves away from fishing for Dolphin so we could go try a drop. We found birds working everywhere from 8 to 12 miles from shore. Each time we would get under the birds, Small schoolie Dolphin would attack our baits. Our group was quite versed at this kind of fishing and stood ready with spinning rods and pitch baits.

 

And after catching 3 or more fish, we start our trek off shore again only to find more birds. The question finally came down to “Are we going Swordfish fishing or not”? LOL

 

The group was divided on this but we finally agreed to start fishing the bottom. The first drop was a bust but the second drop got us a nice bite. Unfortunately, we pulled the hook with the fish about 700’ from the boat. We reset for a third drop after moving ahead of the fish and again had a bite. Actually, more than one bite, the fish was following the bait, whacking it with his bill until he fouled the bait, the end impaled itself on the hook and began spinning. Our prey lost interest.

 

On our way home we found more birds and caught a few more fish. They weren’t all keepers but we ended up with 18 nice ones. We were a little late returning and it was almost hard to stop catching fish.

 

A daytime Swordfish trip is about catching Swordfish. But the consolation prize can be nice too.

 

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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Fort Lauderdale Swordfish Fishing Trip

Posted on by Captain Steve

Fishing trips for Swordfish off the shore of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood can produce a bite in a single day. But more experienced fishermen know their odds increase with a multi-day fishing trip. It just so happens the boys we had out today had fished the previous few days with us. Their first day was a bust as far as Swordfish went. The second day got a few bites but nothing stayed connected. Those first few days happened to be my days off and because of the poor luck, there was talk of staying in tight for some more action. But at the last minute, Chip changed his mind and we were once again headed off shore to where the Swordfish feed during the day. We were in the “Go big or go home” mode.

Dave and Darrin had done the research and with the few bites the day before, we had a good idea where to fish. It’s a long way to the area we fish for Swordfish so we had the high speed lures out for any Marlin that might be around. Our first set we found we were getting too deep too quickly and decided after 45 minutes to reset. Retrieving the bait and making a move in the heavy currents of the Gulf Stream can take almost an hour but we would find out this was to be our day.

Our second set got us a bite. The fish played and billed the bait but eventually lost interest and never ate. We checked the bait and found it was fairly mutilated so we rigged again, got back in front of the fish and dropped again. It didn’t take long until we were connected!

Because of the depth, the size of the gear and pure human resources we use an electric reel for this type of fishing. In many cases the angler sits in the chair and fights the fish just as you would but pushing a button to real rather than cranking with a handle. Many a fish can be lost if the rod is pulled or jerked too quickly or harshly. Chip opted to leave the rod in the covering boards and set the reel to automatic. With the drag set, the reel can do all the work if you wish and Chip opted for another beer. LOL

Once the weight was retrieved and removed from the line, our fish was still 150’ away and down from the boat, we still hadn’t seen him. Now we come to a bit more boat handling to keep the boat in good position. Chip ready with the dart as the fish neared the boat, the dart is merely a safety precaution to have another line attached to the fish. None of these creatures are happy about their first boat ride…

With the dart finally in (it isn’t easy and takes practice) and Darrin on the gaff, our prey was boated and high 5’s all around. 3 full days of fishing and finally Chip’s prize was on board. A nice one too, weighing in at 180 lbs. a 68” short length. (The short length is measured from the fork of the tail to the tip of the lower jaw). The short length makes sure the fish is big enough to legally harvest and there was no doubt with this one.

While it was great having one fish aboard, we were zooming back to where the fish were for a second shot and got that shot shortly after reaching the bottom again. A fairly fierce bite that destroyed the bait and retrieving as fast as we could and resetting for another shot did not pan out. It’s not unusual for these fish to start moving to shallower waters at this time of day to get into position for their night feeding where they come much closer to the surface and we revert to hand cranking them.

I felt lucky and privileged to be part of Chip catching his fish of a life time. And as the sun began sinking in the west, we headed home from our Swordfish fishing trip off Fort Lauderdale. The hours just seem to fade away when you come home with your prize.

Captain Steve

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Swordfish Success Hollywood Fishing Trips

Posted on by Captain Steve

sword fish

One of the great things about daytime Swordfish Trips is the Hollywood Hills is right off shore of us and that gives us a high chance for success. Another great thing about them is our decisions of what to fish for and where have already been made.

Lately fishing in our area has been slow. Our above normal sea temperatures and warm weather has kept the Sailfish we usually catch this time of year north of us. There has been no reason for them to migrate south and while we have been catching some fish, Dolphin, a few Kingfish and so on, the action hasn’t been great. We’re hoping these next two cold fronts make a change in all this.

So when Darren and I found we were headed out for day timing for Swordfish, we were delighted! We loaded up Brad and his dad Jeff and headed out for our long run off shore, well, long for here since most our fish are caught within 2 miles of shore. This trip would take us over 2 hours of running with high speed lures out to get to our fishing grounds.

Fishing for Swordfish during the day is quite involved. We use an electric reel with various spools of different weight line… Usually 80# or 60# if the current is strong. A 15 lbs. weight is also used to help us get the bait down to the bottom and the bait? This must be a work of art. It has to travel through the water so it does not spin and get tangled. There’s nothing worse that retrieving a bait that has spun up and become a jumbled mess of line, lights and hooks.

Our ride to the fishing grounds was uneventful other than one Mahi-mahi we caught as we rounded the corner making ready for our first drop. Jeff did the reeling and Brad was delighted as he had never caught one before. The boys were licking their chops thinking of dinner already. The trolling lines were cleared, the electric reel set up and baited and we began our first deep drop of the day.

It takes about 4 minutes to reach the bottom here in the depth we fish in. Flashing lights that are water activated are used on the leader to attract attention once the bait is down. The glow sticks we use at night cannot handle the pressure of the water here at this kind of depth. The computer readout on the reel says we have about 2300’ of line out and our bait is just off the bottom.

We waited about an hour and while we waited, we put a kite up with a few live Goggle eyes in it just in case another Mahi or maybe something else was around. As we fished, our direction was 1.5 knots to the north even though we were headed south. The Gulf Stream usually runs at better than 3 knots to the north this time of year.

With no bite we decided to bring the bait up and check, just to make sure small fish had not destroyed it or it had tangled on the drop. It takes almost 7 minutes with the electric to retrieve the bait, over 20 if done by hand. And as always, time is our enemy… But the bait was fine and we re-dropped right where we were. We were in the heart of the grounds; all we needed was some cooperation from our prey.

Finally back in place, we again waited for a sign. Seas were subsiding some and as we often do, moving the bait, checking our proximity to the bottom, Darren looked up at me and just gave a grin. He was in the process of dropping down and the weight stopped. It just stopped, way too soon. The rod tip twitched a few times, the button was pushed and held and something was taking drag!

It took over 30 minutes to retrieve the weight, the fish we had on, whatever it was, was still 150’ from the boat and couldn’t be seen. It bit like a Swordy, and was fighting like a Swordy, but you just never know. Sharks, Oil fish, at this depth? It could be all kinds of things. And now? With the weight off? The fun begins. Let’s get a look at what we have on!

About 50’ from the boat we got our first look at our fish. He was up on the surface slashing his bill back and forth. It’s a Swordfish all right and a nice one too. He measured out at 97” overall and weighed I’d guess about 80 lbs. After the long battle he was tired and gave Darren no trouble at the boat with the gaff. Once in the boat the fish was still moving and had to be held down tightly to keep from hurting himself or others.

It doesn’t always go this way, we wish it did. But when it all comes together? It’s a great experience! I’ve been doing this a long, LONG time and I still get chills when landing a fish like this. Imagine how Brad and his dad felt? Their first time…
IMG_0136 sword 2
So while the fishing might not be so great, that doesn’t mean great things can’t happen. And the success we had today off Hollywood on this fishing trip looking for Swordfish certainly will keep me energized for some time to come.

Thanks for listening; I got a little long on this one. LOL

Captain Steve

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