With the kids back in school, at least here. Fort Lauderdale,
we enter our slow down season. That’s as far as the business end of things, the
fishing still goes on. LOL
Kingfish and Bonitos are being caught in the area of the
reef close to shore. Trolling has been the best way to catch them and a few
have been on the large size. Very unusual for this time of year. We will continue
to catch Bonitos for a bit longer and as always, Tuna can be mixed in with those
But as we enter September and October, things begin to change.
Tuna and Wahoo become much more frequent and the big bomber Bonitos leave us.
Their offspring becoming our bullets or baby Bonitos and an excellent type of
live bait. These baits will attract large Wahoo, Kings and Sailfish in just a
Bottom fishing has been good with the deep wrecks and reefs
providing us with some nice snappers of various types. The drift boat has been
doing well on the anchor trip which targets these species.
But what has been very unusual time of year has been some of
the exotic sharks being caught. While summertime usually leaves us with Bull
and Sandbar sharks, Threshers and even a big Tiger shark have been caught.
Tiger sharks have a nasty disposition and are never docile when
next to the boat, so getting a good picture of them can be tough. In the
picture I posted, you can see the spots very faintly. This fish was tired after
the battle and they lose their color in that state. When excited or fresh,
these spots are much brighter and more predominant. I won’t begin the
discussion of why these weren’t called Leopard sharks… LOL
Anyway, that’s been our fishing here off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.
Wahoo, Tuna and soon Mahi-mahi are all coming soon. Hope to see you…
The moon phase can play a part on our daily fishing
trips. Certain times of the month affects different species different ways. But
my favorite phase is just after the full moon or backside as we call it. That’s
the time for Wahoo.
April and October are generally the best months for
these fish but we do catch them year round. Most are caught with the trolling
rigs we use every day and Wahoo certainly aren’t limited to just those few
days. They can hit at any time… The fact that this report has a picture of a
Wahoo that was caught just 2 days after the full moon could be coincidence… Or
it could have been this young angler’s birthday luck that produced this fine
fish. It was caught early in the trip as soon as we started to fish.
The bite on the troll slowed a bit this past week. The
full moon will do that sometimes. So the drift and sport boats have been doing
some bottom fishing. Vermillion snapper have been biting on the deeper spots.
Yellowtails and Mangroves have been biting on the anchor trip and some nice
sized ones too.
Dolphin have been quite a ways off shore. You
definitely need more than a 4-hour trip to reach them. Patience and tenacity
are also needed. The best indicator are the birds working the water. With all
the weed, there’s just not enough time in a day to hit all the patches.
If you plan on taking one of our daily fishing trips,
bring plenty of water. A smile and positive attitude helps as well.
What a busy April we’ve had aboard Fantastic Fishing! The Spring action is off the charts and we are in the thick of every species to be found off of Fort Luaderdale: Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Wahoo, Kingfish, Tunas, Amberjacks, Barrcuda, Sharks and a bevy of Snapper and Grouper species!
NOW is the time to book your saltwater fishing adventure as the Spring action is reaching its PEAK!
Sportfishing Report: Mahi Mahi are Here..and They Brought Friends…
The Mahi Mahi have been coming in relatively close to show to pummel our live baits and trolled baits inside of 300 feet of water for some mid-spring acrobatics and tasty eating. Mahi in the 10 to 30 pound range have been caught since late March by our clients and there seems to be no end in sight. Our sister ship, the Lady Pamela II, caught this MASSIVE Mahi Mahi in the video below!
The Sailfishing Remains Hot
The Sailfish continue to stay in the area and are feasting on nearly every bait that we throw at them! Our clients have been catching and releasing large numbers of Sailfish as we fish live baits underneath our fishing kites.
We love to Kite-fish for Sailfish. It is an amazing experience as you get to see the Sailfish literally come up to eat the bait. Nothing gets the blood pumping like watching a double- or triple-header Sailfish bite up on the surface.We can fish up to three (3) live baits per kite, with at least two (2) kites up at any one time. We’re fishing between 90 and 225 feet of water.
When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air,
we can also slow troll live baits such as Pilchards, Ballyhoo, Blue Runners and
Goggle Eyes as well as troll our specially-crafted mullet strips.
Toothy Critters: Wahoo and Kingfish are Tearing up the Baits
The Wahoo and Kingfish don’t want us to forget about them! Some huge Wahoo have been piling onto our kite baits, slow-trolled live baits and our trolled strips. These are truly world-class catches and we’d love for you to get in on the action!
King Mackerel (‘Kingfish”) have been prowling the reefs a little shallower than the Wahoo to pounce on our unwary kite baits and they make for a nice one-two punch with the Wahoo on the outside of the reef. Like Wahoo, Kingfish have teeth that are more like surgical scalpels and they fight hard, which is why we call them “smokers” – they will smoke your drag on scorching runs once they’re hooked.
When they’re not crushing our live baits under the kite or slow-trolled, Kingfish have also been responding to our strip baits trolled below the surface on planers along with as Islanders with ballyhoo in both the blue/white and red/black color combinations. We’ve been finding the Kingfish in between 70 and 150 feet of water.
Blackfin Tunas – Not So Wicked
The Blackfin Tunas are here IN FORCE. We’ve been catching Blackfins in the 10 to 20-pound range inside of 160 feet of water on the same live baits under kites as we use when we target Sailfish, as well as slow-trolled live baits.
We’ve also been targeting Blackfins by trolling Sea Witches and Bonito Strips at 5 – 6 knots. Large Bonitos are also mixed in with the Blackfins.
Sharks are Here…and Hungry
The shark fishing continues to be off-the-charts with big Hammerhead Sharks topping the charts!
Our clients continue to enjoy big Hammerhead Shark catches and we’re also getting shots at other shark species such as Caribbean Reef Sharks, Blacktips and Silky Sharks. The best shark baits continue to be either a live Bonito or dead Bonito or Kingfish dropped down in 300 feet of water.
As you can see, the Fort Lauderdale offshore fishing scene is busting at the seams! We need your help to catch all of these species that are basically jumping in the boat! Give us a call NOW to book your trip before this bite slows down! We still have a few slots open before the end of April and just a few left for May. Let’s go!
The Spring action is here, folks! This means the return of the bait schools on the reef and plenty of species to feed upon them. We expect the sailfish bite to continue to be solid as we have had a nice north current the past few days. The action on the reefs and bottom fishing is red-hot! NOW is the time to book your saltwater fishing adventure with Fantastic Fishing!
Sportfishing Report: The Sailfish Bite Remains Steady
The Sailfish continue to stay in the area and the roving pods of Sails are feasting on nearly every bait that we throw at them! Our clients have been catching and releasing large numbers of Sailfish as we fish live baits underneath our fishing kites or on the troll.
Kite-fishing is our specialty at Fantastic Fishing. Nothing gets the blood pumping like watching a double- or triple-header Sailfish bite up on the surface.We can fish up to three (3) live baits per kite, with at least two (2) kites up at any one time. We’re fishing between 80 and 200 feet of water.
When there is not enough wind to keep the kites in the air, we can also slow troll live baits such as Pilchards, Ballyhoo, Blue Runners and Goggle Eyes as well as troll our specially-crafted mullet strips.
The Kingfish and Wahoo are Making Noise
King Mackerel (‘Kingfish”) have also set up shop on and near the reefs to pounce on our unwary kite baits and trolled baits and they have only gotten thicker – and hungrier. Kingfish have teeth that are more like surgical scalpels and they fight hard, which is why we call them “smokers” – they will smoke your drag on scorching runs once they’re hooked. When they’re not crushing our live baits under the kite or slow-trolled, Kingfish have also been responding to our strip baits trolled below the surface on planers along with as Islanders with ballyhoo in both the blue/white and red/black color combinations. We’ve been finding the Kingfish in between 70 and 150 feet of water.
Wahoo are on the Scene
Wahoos have also shown up to crush our kite baits and our Kingfish baits trolled behind planers. The only thing better than the screaming drags and intense fights with Wahoo are how Wahoo taste on your dinner table!
Barracudas Don’t Want to be Left Out
While we’re on the reef targeting Sailfish, Kingfish and other species, another toothy monster has a knack for blowing up our kite baits and trolled baits: Barracuda! These fearsome-looking critters are tough, acrobatic fighters that refuse to be ignored. Barracuda also make amazing replica mounts.
The Grouper and Snappers are Frisky
With the recent full moon, the bottom fishing has been exceptional. We’ve been keeping our clients busy catching fish and sending them home with tasty dinner fare. Get a look at this huge Black Grouper!
Snappers or multiple varieties are also on the bite and stuffing our fish boxes.
When we visit our “honey hole” wrecks, our anglers have been “greeted: by slugger Amberjacks like the one below.
Our April trips are filling up fast as families visit us for Spring Break and May dates are getting scooped up. Give us a call to book your FANTASTIC trip now!
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!
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.
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.
The 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.
Our 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.
Most fishing trips on charter boats here in Fort Lauderdale are limited to 6 passengers. 6 is the maximum we can carry at one time but on occasion, 6 people aren’t wanted or needed. Sometimes it’s just 1 person on board with the captain and first mate. And today, we had Bill.
Now having just 1 person on board is kind of a treat for the crew. We have to learn just one name, there’s never a question of who will fight the fish and so on.
Fishing lately has been fairly active on the reef area. Some Bonitos are still around and our first bite turned out to be quite a test for Bill and his new shoulder. Just 2 lines out and the deep one went off. A BIG run taking drag as we moved the rod to the chair and Bill took over. With a run like that? It must be a Wahoo! After about 10 minutes we found it could also be a foul hooked Bonito, a big one, but a Bonito none the less. While Justin and I were kind of disappointed, Bill seemed quite happy with his first fish of the day.
One fish that has been consistent lately has been Kingfish. Most have been between 5 and 8 lbs. and the bite has been good. We began catching these and I think Bill might have thought about maybe having one more person on board to help. You see, even when we have just 1 on board, we fish just like we do with 3, 5 or 6 people. Our two deep rods were going off often and many times Bill would finish with one only to have another put in his grasp. His rotator cuff surgery was holding up well.
With the Kingfish action so good, we stayed with them and caught our limit and then some. Finally we opted to try for something bigger and began heading to deeper waters for a shark or Grouper… Time to give Bill a little rest. But Mother Ocean decided Bill needed one more challenge and one of the top baits got hit with another big run.
Once again Justin and I surmised that another large Bonito had struck and we were preparing things as Bill fought his fish. After almost 10 minutes into the battle, what we thought was a Bonito jumped and showed his true colors. A Sailfish? In September? The absolute worst month to catch a Sailfish off Fort Lauderdale?
Seeing what was on the line kind of changed our attitudes a bit as we went into sportfishing gear clearing lines and moving the boat backwards to aid Bill in his quest. The Sailfish we do catch in October are usually small but this fish was full grown and angry. Even after 30 minutes, he managed to jump close to the boat and completely clear the water. Another 10 minutes and we had him boatside for billing, pictures and his release. It took a bit to revive the fish after the long battle but he swam away in excellent form.
So you don’t have to have 6 on your fishing trip here in Fort Lauderdale but it’s not a bad idea to maybe have one other angler. You might want the rest…
Calm seas, light winds, sunny skies and some great fishing… Does this sound good to you? Well, this is what we’ve had for the last week or so here in Fort Lauderdale. Our guests are having a blast catching all kinds of fish in near perfect south Florida weather, the kind they advertise in the brochures, the kind that make you jealous when the temps are freezing. And we expect this kind of thing to continue and even improve.
May is usually an exceptional month for fishing here in Fort Lauderdale. Big Mahi’s are already being caught, slightly ahead of schedule. Small ones too are making their appearance and we expect more to come. Tuna fishing is down right now Wahoo fishing is getting stronger. With some Bonitos already coming through, summer fishing has begun.
One fish it is very nice to see return is the King Mackerel or Kingfish the largest of the mackerel family. This was always a staple in fishing here and for the last 1.5 years has been very slow. And we did a little fishing for Kings today with our group. Karina, Chris, Ian and Mark joined us for the day. Loaded with a bunch of food and beer, we headed out in winds so light, no kite could be flown. Catching some live Ballyhoo was our thought because Sailfish and Dolphin LOVE live Hoos. But the light winds and little current made things difficult. We still had a blast catching the ones we did. Chris and Mark actually got quite good at it.
We started trolling and caught a few Kings, nice sized ones at that. Chris and Karina both love to cook and were discussing how to prepare the fish when the highline sang out. Something big had grabbed our bait and was making a long run with it. Karina was up and got the call to the chair where for over 20 minutes she battled the unknown. Rod bent, she did a great job staying tight with the fish until he finally appeared.
The Kingfish in the picture with Karina and mate Adam was what she had landed. Over 40 lbs., quite a catch on light tackle and even more amazing to land whole, what with all the sharks that have been present.
Speaking of sharks, we did a little of that kind of fishing after landing this fish since our edible quota had now been met. Some live Hoos out and a few shark baits. Fishing for sharks can take an hour or two but we only waited about 30 minutes before the rod bent and we were connected to something large. Ian was called to be our angler on this one.
This took about 40 minutes to land, a just under 7’ Bull shark. Bull sharks are notorious for bad dispositions and this one was mad. Adam pulled the leader to the boat numerous times and the fish just wouldn’t quit. We finally got him close enough to measure and retrieve our hooks before releasing him back to the sea.
Some trolling home for Mahi-Mahi or Tuna but we struck out on that today. Still all in all, it was a great day and our crew was out of beer. Time to head home and restock.
Great weather AND fishing are here right now. Why aren’t you in Fort Lauderdale?
Deep sea fishing in Fort Lauderdale this time of year is a bit different than it is in our summer months. The action is a bit slower by comparison in the winter time but, the fish we catch this time of year are usually bigger, substantially bigger.
While summer months usually find us trolling the seas, winter time we switch to using live baits. And we did just this the other day with Doris and Enrique from Peru and Doris’ step grandson Jason from Georgia.
Doris has done some fishing back home boasting about the White Marlin bite. We set out to catch some bait as the winds were too slight to fly the kites. Bullet Bonito were what we were after and these are excellent, active baits for just about anything. Doris and Jason were having fun catching these and a few small Tuna added to the excitement.
We then set the baits out and as in all fishing, began our wait for the first bite. Slowly bumping the boat around with our baits behind us, Jason and I talked fishing on the flybridge and about patience in waiting for what is supposed to happen. Doris however, was becoming bored and wanted to go back to catching small stuff. As crew, Justin and I do not get involved in these discussions.
As it was being talked about, one rod sang out, Justin set the hook and was about to hand the rod off when it went slack. The fish was gone that quick. Almost as quick as that was over, another rod sang out and this one did get hooked. Jason got the call and ended up fighting this fish in excellent form for over 20 minutes before we got a good look at what we were fighting. Once landing this 35 lbs. Wahoo, I asked Doris if she still wanted to go fish for the smaller fish.
Even though we still had time, Enrique was stating they needed to get back so we headed in a bit early. It was a beautiful day in Fort Lauderdale and the fish gods had smiled upon Jason. He was still beaming at his catch. Fort Lauderdale deep sea fishing… Sometimes it’s just that one fish that makes your day.