Christmas Week Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

tiger shark

Cool tiger shark caught fishing aboard the Catch My Drift

Great week of fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  Over this past week, there have been some great catches of dolphin, sailfish, a few wahoos, sharks and some big fish off the bottom.  Our drift fishing trips are getting into all the different kinds of snappers… yellowtails, mangroves and mutton snappers as well as a grouper every now and then and the oddball cobia, tuna or mahi-mahi.  Kingfish are also out there and biting for those anglers who fish a surface or mid-depth bait.  Kingfish like the morning bite, so if you’re fishing the drift boat and want to catch something bigger, do the morning trip. If you’re going for action, the afternoon and night trips are the best.

dolphin and kingfsih

Lots of dolphin and kingfish caught on our sportfishing charter

Sportfishing charters are coming in with some great catches too.  Mahi-mahi are biting very good on certain days.  Kingfish, wahoo and blackfin tunas are also biting good on the reefs.  Trolling is such a great method of fishing because we can effectively target all these species with the same technique.  Trolling is also great because we can cover a lot of territory to look for where the fish are most concentrated.  Sailfish is the other special on the menu this month.  December and January are the top months for catching sailfish in South Florida.  While trolling is also effective for catching sailfish, kite fishing is the preferred method to get a hook up on these elusive gamefish.  Kite fishing involves presenting live baits using high flying kites, suspending the baits so they are left splashing on the top of the water.  The stiff winter winds and availability of sailfish and larger dolphin fish, make kite fishing one of our optimal methods to target big game this time of year.

nice sailfish caught and released on our sportfishing charter

Nice sailfish caught and released on our sportfishing charter

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Dolphin are Biting in Fort Lauderdale

Nice dolphin just boated

Nice dolphin just caught on our sportfishing charter

What a terrible week for weather and what a spectacular week for fishing.  Stormy skies and rough seas made the fishing difficult for us this week, but those brave anglers who went out there had some of the best fishing action we’ve had in Fort Lauderdale for some time.  The strong east winds are blowing the dolphin in close, all the way into as shallow as 80ft of water.  Even our drift fishing trips are catching them.  Lots of nice, gaffer sized dolphins are scattered and biting good on the reef.  Lately, it’s seemed, the rougher the ocean the better the fishing.  Fish get active when the wind starts howling and the waves pick up.

Nice sailfish caught on the drift boat

Nice sailfish caught on the drift boat in Fort Lauderdale

Sailfish action is great too.  This is our prime month of fishing for sailfish and these conditions are great for it.  Kite fishing, a technique that involves flying kites and dangling live baits from the kite so that the baits are suspended and splashing on the surface, requires a stiff wind.  This method, which is spectacular to see because you can watch the entire bite sequence happening on the surface, is the best way to target sailfish, bigger dolphin and other surface feeding gamefish.  Our sportfishing charters this week have caught sailfish more often than not, with some charters coming in with multiple sailfish.  The next cold front that moves through may be the best sailfish bite we’ll have all year.

Sailfish caught in Ft Lauderdale

Nice sailfish caught in Ft Lauderdale in stormy conditions

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Awesome Dolphin Fishing Trip on the Mary B III

Nice catch of dolphin caught aboard Mary B III

Nice catch of dolphin on the Mary B III - 32 keeper dolphins

It was a great day for fishing today on the Mary B III.  The dolphin were snapping in 350-400ft of water today, just a mile and a half off the Fort Lauderdale beach.  The morning trip was good, but the afternoon was even better.  We started the morning drifting on the reef, picking up a few snappers and some other assorted bottom critters (grunts, triggers, porgies).  A few boats just outside of us were catching some scattered mahi-mahi, so we decided to go give that a try.  We went out to 350ft of water and set up on a drift.  We ended up catching 8 mahi-mahi and one lucky angler caught about a 15 pound wahoo, the pool winning fish.  On the afternoon trip, we went directly out to 400ft of water to start the trip.  We picked at some mahi-mahi catching a few.  Trolling is the best way to cover some territory and find more fish.  There weren’t many people on the afternoon trip, so we decided to pick up the baits and try some trolling.  It was a great call by the captain to do this because we started catching fish instantly.  The dolphin were all over the place but scattered.  Every few minutes we hooked into one or two.  We hit one nice school with about 12 fish in it, where every person on the boat had a dolphin on the line at the same time.  One angler had a monster 25 pounder on the line, but ultimately broke him off.  That would have been the biggest one of the day.  The afternoon catch ended up being 32 keeper dolphin, I don’t know how many releases and a few assorted bottom fish that we caught drifting over the reef during the last 1/2 hour of the trip.  There’s some great dolphin action just offshore Fort Lauderdale beach right now.  Last November, we had some incredible dolphin fishing action.  It looks like this year is starting to get rolling too.  This is a great time to come out on a drift fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale.  Let’s go fishing!

Big jumping dolphin that got away

The one that got away- pic of the 25 pounder we busted off. Picture doesn't do the fish justice.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Great Action Fishing Ft Lauderdale this Week

Dolphins, snappers, kingfish and tunas

Nice catch of snappers, dolphin, kingfish and tunas on our fishing charter

There’s some great action on the Fort Lauderdale reefs this month.  The kingfish and bonitos are biting great and are providing non-stop action when trolling the reefs.  Mahi-mahi are also out there in abundance and while it does take some time to find them, they are out there to be found.  Snapper fishing on the bottom continues to be productive this month.  All in all, there’s great action fishing the reefs and offshore waters of Fort Lauderdale.

Nice mutton snappers just caught fishing south Florida

Nice catch of big mutton snappers on our fishing trip

Big muttons are biting this month on the bottom. Our drift boat, the Catch My Drift, is catching a lot of them on the afternoon and night trips.  Morning has been okay, but afternoon and night fishing has been unquestionably better.  Mutton snappers are biting ballyhoo, sardines and cigar minnows.  When you are mutton fishing, there are a lot of other bottom fish you can catch too.  Groupers are biting excellent this year and this is a great month to catch them.  Reds, blacks, gags, scamps and other types of groupers are biting on the 60-80ft reefs and on the deeper shipwrecks in 200-300ft of water.  Cobia follow the mullet run and are biting as well.  You never know what you might pull off the bottom this time of year.

Cobia caught at night

Nice cobia caught night anchor fishing on the Catch My Drift

Lastly, wahoos are biting better this year than I have ever seen them bite. Maybe we’re just getting better at catching them, but lots and lots of big wahoos have been hitting the docks over the past few weeks.  Wahoo are the fastest fish in the ocean and traditionally like a fast trolled lure.  We have been high speed trolling whenever we move from spot to spot  and also on the way back to the inlet at the end of the trip.  Doing this, we’ve caught a lot of big wahoos that we wouldn’t have caught otherwise.  As my dad always told me, you have to travel that distance to get where you are going anyway, may as well throw a bait out.  You might get lucky and make the day.  Can’t catch a fish if you don’t throw out a line.  Good luck fishing this week everyone, the fish are snappin’!!!!

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Great Inshore Fishing in Fort Lauderdale for Tarpon and Snook

Snook caught and in the boat

Nice snook just captured fishing the Ft Lauderdale Intracoastal waterway

Capt. Robert is having a great week on the 26ft center console fishing the InterCoastal Waterway of Fort Lauderdale.  Snook season just opened up for us as of September 1, so we’ve been doing quite a bit of snook fishing in the ICW.  This is the best year on snooks I have seen in a long time.  We’re catching them on live pilchards, mullet and shimps along the sea walls that line our inshore canals.  We have some secret spots, which I can’t divulge, but most spots are holding some snooks.  September is traditionally a good month for snook fishing, after a 3 month closure period during the summers months.  These fish aren’t hook shy like they will be 6-7 months from now.  We’re getting an aggressive bite once again from these fish.

tarpon on the line

Tarpon on the line being fought by an excited angler

Tarpon too, are biting good in the inshore waters of Ft Lauderdale.  First off, we have tarpons all around our docks every day.  We don’t fish for these ones around our dock, as we consider these tarpon our pets.  They eat a lot of the fish scraps we throw over at the fish cleaning table when cleaning our catch at the end of the day.  However, this is a good indicator on how many tarpon are in our local waters.  We’re catching a lot of tarpon in Port Everglades, right at the mouth of the inlet around the jetties.  Tarpon are strictly catch-and-release, but man are they fun to catch.  No other fish fights with as much vigor as tarpon do.   And that we catch them on light tackle makes them even more exciting.  Barracudas, jack crevale, mangrove snapper, goliath grouper and sharks are all fish you can also potentially catch while  tarpon fishing the shallow waters of the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal.  Good luck everyone, catch ‘em up!

Tarpon hooked up in the ICW

Nice tarpon on the line, hooked up in Port Everglades

Nice shark catch

Nice shark catch and release in the inshore waters of Fort Lauderdale

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Big Wahoo and Lots of Kingfish on the Ft Lauderdale Reef

great catch of kingfish and wahoo

Huge wahoo and a whole rack of kingfish caught sportfishing today.

It was a helluva day at sea today with an awesome catch of kingfish, bonitos and a monster wahoo on our sportfishing charter.  The kingfish and bonitos are all over the reef, every which way we turn we’re hooking into a mulitple fish at a time.  Trolling is the best method of fishing this time of year to catch the most fish possible.  It is a technique where the boat is moving the whole time and we drag a spread of lures behind the boat to look like a school of fish trying to escape.  It allows us to cover a lot of territory on the water and cover the most ground possible.  When you’re trolling, you never know what you’re going to catch.  Bonitos, a 5-10 pound fish in the mackerel family, are biting great!  They are the most aggressive and are out there in the largest numbers.  Kingfish are starting to bite very good too.  Kingfish have been almost non-existent this year and are just starting to show up for us.

Big wahoo caught trolling the reef

Big wahoo caught trolling the reef in Ft Lauderdale

Last year, we had banner numbers of wahoo caught and the season is starting early.  During the past few days, several wahoos have been caught including this monster 37 pounder shown in the photo.  Wahoo were very active off our coast during the months of September through December last year.  It’s good to see them beginning to bite so early.

Big African Pompanos and a big mangrove snapper just caught

Big African Pompanos and a big mangrove snapper just caught drift fishing on the reef

Our drift fishing trips are catching a lot of action out there too.  This weeks catches have consisted of  a lot of yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snappers, some nice kingfish, bonitos, a couple blackfin tunas and several very large African Pompanos.

A bite this good can’t last for long.  This is a great time to come fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  So come out on the water and let’s go fishing!


Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Great Action on our Fort Lauderdale Fishing Trips

Bull Dolphin

Big bull dolphin caught fishing offshore Ft Lauderdale

Summertime fishing is hot in Fort Lauderdale and this year was no exception.  Dolphin are biting pretty good offshore on both our sportfishing charters and on our All Day Dolphin Trip aboard the Mary B III.  Dolphin are biting anywhere from 3-7 miles off Fort Lauderdale and are hanging close to the weedlines that form offshore.  This week, we caught one of the biggest bulls I’ve seen caught in a while.  This bull caught approx 50 pounds and ate a rigged ballyhoo we were trolling about 4 miles offshore.  Excellent catch!  Most of the dolphin we’re seeing are schoolie sized ones with a big bull mixed in here or there.


Sailfish are starting to bite, nice sail caught 120ft deep in Ft Lauderdale

September is the beginning of sailfish season in Fort Lauderdale and the sailfish are showing up early!  We’ve caught several sailfish this week already.  Today’s cooler temperatures and Northeast winds indicate and early fall approaching.  Get ready for some awesome sailfish action this year.  Sailfish are biting mostly on the troll, but if this breezy weather continues we’ll be doing a lot more kite fishing.

bonitos, tunas, snappers and dolphin

Nice catch of dolphins, bonitos, snappers, tunas and more on the All Day Dolphin Trip aboard Mary B III

On the drift fishing trips, kingfish and bonitos are biting excellent.  Bonitos make a huge migration through our waters from July to September every year.  They are coming through in strong numbers and most of our trips are coming in with a lot of them.  Kingfish are also biting strong on the reef, some of them very big ones (Smokers!).  Snappers and groupers are biting on our drift fishing trips too, afternoons have had a little more action than the morning trips lately.

Mangrove and mutton snapper being held up just after landing

Nice mangrove and mutton snapper caught by John on the afternoon drift fishing trip

Night fishing is excellent this month.  Mangroves snappers are doing their annual spawn over the course of the next month and are biting voraciously.  The size of the mangroves we are catching right now is very unusual, some of them 4-5 pounds or even bigger.  Yellowtails are biting good too, but a lot of them are small.  About half of them are keepers and half are throw back.  A few big mutton snappers are being caught at night too, usually at least a few per trip.  Groupers, although a bit more rare, are a definite possibility on the night anchor trip… gag, black, red, strawberry and scamp groupers.

Great catch on the night anchor trip

Great catch of snappers on the night time anchor fishing trip aboard the Catch My Drift

Excellent fishing on our trips this time of year.  This is the season where Ft Lauderdale fishing really shines and there is a lot of action to be had.  Good luck to everyone fishing with us this week, I’ll sea ya on the water!


Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Giant Tuna Caught on Deep Sea Sport Fishing Trip

giant tuna in the boat

Giant tuna caught on a deep sea sportfishing trip

A giant tuna was caught by Capt. Rod aboard the Kaydiddle on a fishing trip that left Fort Lauderdale.  The boat went 60 miles offshore, to just outside the Bahamas.  Giant tuna come through the pass between the Bimini islands out into the Gulfstream current on their migration northward.  On this fishing mission, most of our fishing was done without even baits in the water.  We patrol the waters with baits ready to launch if we see a tuna coming through.  These tunas are moving incredibly fast, more than 20 knots.  The boat has to go full throttle to get in front of them and drop back our baits.  Well, luck was on our side that day as we sighted a giant tuna coming off the bank.  We gunned the boat ahead and got in front of him and dropped the baits back to him, right on top of his head.  INSTA-BITE!!!

humongous giant tuna

Humongous giant tuna back at the dock in Cat Cay

The tuna hit the lure with an explosion that looked like a depth charge.  The 130 Penn International we were using tweaked over in the rod holder as the tuna sounded downward to the depths.  Our angler, Charles grabbed the rod and got strapped up into the fighting chair.  The fish fought us for over 3 hours, testing the equipment, the boat and all our strength.  When the fish got to the boat, we stuck the flying gaffs in him and began another challenging task of hauling the fish aboard.  We had no idea the fish was so large.  We brought this fish back into Cat Cay where we had to have a forklift, lift the fish out of the cockpit.  There was no scale large enough to weigh this fish, but we estimated it at 750-850 pounds.  It was an incredibly exciting day.  Bahamians from the entire island and some from the neighboring islands came and loaded up on tuna meat.  There was enough fish to feed the entire island for more than a week.  I’ve never caught a giant tuna until this one.  What a trip!  The giant fish are biting, this is a great time of year.  Let’s go fishing!


Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Grouper Fishing Season in Ft Lauderdale Opens with a Bang

Warsaw Grouper

Big warsaw grouper just caught wreck fishing in Fort Lauderdale

Grouper season opened up on May 1 and it started off with a bang.  We caught this 60 pound warsaw grouper deep dropping on a wreck in 275ft of water.  The fish ate a live blue runner we dropped as bait.  Groupers have been completely un-harassed the past 5 months with no one fishing for them.  This period of no one fishing for them has helped the groupers repopulate the wrecks making them more plentiful and easier to catch.  They are open now, so if you catch a grouper, you can finally keep him.

Big amberjack

Nice amberjack just caught fishing the bottom off a wreck

Blacks, gags, reds, warsaw and snowy groupers are all biting good on the bottom, especially around the shipwrecks that have been sunk to act as artificial reefs.  These underwater structures act as excellent habitats for groupers, amberjacks, cobia, barracuda, sharks and multitudes of smaller fish.  They also make great spots to fish on top of to get quick action on big game fish.  May is one of the best months of the year for bottom fishing around the wrecks.  Amberjacks are stacked up on these spots in record numbers.  Amberjacks are big fish, sometimes 40-60 pounds and they put up a hellacious fight.  These powerhouse fish are very aggressive and usually take the bait the second it hits the bottom.

Nice cobia just caught

Nice cobia just caught over a wreck in Fort Lauderdale

This is a great time of year for bottom fishing in Fort Lauderdale and it makes for supremely fun action.  You will usually come home with some pretty big fish and you can effectively hit quite a few wrecks in just a half day fishing trip.  If you’re looking for good action on strong fighting and big fish, a wreck fishing charter is for you.  Let’s go fishing!


Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Successful Swordfishing Trip with Dolphin Too

Nice catch of a swordfish and some dolphin at the dock in Ft Lauderdale

Successful daytime swordfishing trip in Fort Lauderdale with Fishing Headquarters

We went out on a daytime swordfishing trip today and had a great trip.  We started off trolling lures offshore in hopes of a marlin, sailfish or whatever else would bite.  We caught a tuna and a couple small-medium sized dolphin on the way out to fishing grounds.  Once we got out to swordfish territory, we set up our electric reels and did our first drop.  We use electric reels for daytime swordfishing because you need to drop the bait so deep to get it to where the swordfish are, 1100-1500ft down.  We are one of the only boats that has an electric reel which also has a hand crank, so you can use the electric reel function to get the bait back when you don’t get a bite or hand fight the fish if you hook up to one.

Swordfish on the deck

Swordfish laying on the deck of the boat, just after being caught.

BAMMO, as soon as the bait hit the bottom, we hooked up.  We must’ve dropped the bait directly on his head.  The angler got into the chair and we fought the fish all the way to the surface.  It wasn’t the biggest swordfish in the world, but it was a nice keeper size one, probably a 75 pounder.  We gaffed the fish and threw him in the boat.  Any swordfishing trip where you successfully capture a swordfish is a good trip.  Well, there’s only one thing better than a swordfish in the boat and that’s to have 2 swordfish in the boat!  We dropped again a few more times but never got another hit on a swordfish.  Time was running down, so we put our lures back out and began trolling home.

good daytime swordfishing catch of dolphin and swordfish

A nice swordfish and a rack of dolphin at the dock at the end of the day.

There were some nice weedlines formed offshore, so we trolled along them for a while.  We hit a couple more good size dolphin trolling and then finally hit our really big bull dolphin making the day and putting icing on the cake.  The biggest dolphin was over 25 pounds and was a solid, really nice bull.  The dolphin fishing offshore this time of year is phenomenal and if you’re out there with enough time to try it, there are some swordfish biting too.  You can catch anything this time of year when fishing offshore of Fort Lauderdale.  This is one of the best months of the year to come out on a fishing trip.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse