Great Fort Lauderdale Fishing This Week

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Nice dolphin catch on our sportfishing charter, back at the dock

Nice catch of dolphin and wahoo on our Ft Lauderdale sportfishing charter.

What awesome fishing we’re having in Fort Lauderdale this week.  The action is great after a storm like we’ve just had.  Lots of debris in the water, very few boats out there fishing and lots of fish in the water.  This week, dolphin are the hot ticket.  Mahi-mahi dolphin are biting really good out there.  We’re hitting them in the 250-350ft of water range, which is the inside edge of the Gulfstream, just outside the reef.  If they aren’t there, they are also being found along the first weedline as you head offshore, usually another mile or so further out in 500-600ft of water.  We’ve had some great trips this week where we’ve just nailed the dolphin.  I attribute this to the greater concentration of logs, tree branches and other debris floating it’s way northward from the south Caribbean after the storms that have just moved through.  It makes for excellent fishing conditions.

Group of guys on a bachelor party on the dock after a fishing trip holding kingfish, dolphin and tunas.

Nice catch of dolphins, kingfish and tunas for this bachelor party fishing trip.

When you find debris floating offshore, dolphin may be your first thought but don’t overlook the possibility of wahoo, sharks or blackfin tunas circling below.  It’s good to pull a deep bait past the floater a few passes to see if anything is lurking down deep.   You might get lucky and pickup a wahoo for your effort.  Wahoo are the fastest fish in the ocean and they don’t shy away from a fast-pulled bait.  In fact, it seems that the faster the bait, the more aggressive the bite.  September and October are awesome months for wahoo, especially on the days surrounding the full and new moons.  They love the strong tidal swings that the full and new moon usually produce.

Guy holding an all lit up mahi-mahi dolphin he just caught.

Big mahi-mahi bull dolphin caught on our sportfishing charter.

Fishing the reef has also been productive this week.  Lots of king mackerels are biting in 100-120ft.  Mixed in with them are some bonitos, barracuda and black fin tunas.  All of those species are biting decently well out there right now.  September is a good month because we get the tail end of the summer fish and the beginnings of the autumn fish.  It’s a transition month where a lot of different species are present and anything can happen.  Depending on the amount of wind out there, you may see us trolling lures and rigged baits or you might see us live baiting either out of the outriggers or the kites.  Coming soon, when the wind is up, we will be mostly kite fishing with live baits for the majority of our fishing trips.

The boys out on the boat holding a nice bunch of good sized mahi-mahi.

Nice dolphin catch for these guys on our sportfishing charter.

Spring is the best season of the year for wreck fishing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fish them in the summer and autumn months.  Amberjacks are still around and biting.  It’s kind of late in the year for them and there aren’t as many here now as there are in the Spring, but they are a definite possibility to catch if you drop a live bait down to the bottom.  With less competition for food, amberjacks aren’t as aggressive as they are in March-May.  They may let a bait sit on the bottom and squirm for a while before meandering over to it and eating it down.  This gives other fish such as grouper and cobia a chance to get the bait themselves.  We catch a lot higher percentage of groupers and cobia this time of than we normally do.

Big black grouper being held by Mick on the boat.

Big black grouper caught on our sportfishing charter.

Lastly, I want to talk about the mullet run.  The mullet run is an annual phenomenon in Fort Lauderdale.  It happens in September and October.  It is a huge movement of baitfish along our coast.  Mullet, mostly smaller ones known as ‘finger mullet’, fill the entire Port Everglades inlet as well as much of the Intracoastal waterway.  You will find them up and down every canal that tees off the Intracoastal and the New River.  Mullet are edible but very strong in flavor.  Their value is in the food supply they provide to the gamefish of our area and we also like to use them as bait.  Mullet work well as a rigged bait when they are dead and also as a live bait.  They are one of the few baits that survive well when used in the kite fishing technique.  Not many baitfish are hardy enough to live long when suspended from the kites, but mullet are a strong, hearty baitfish and they have good stamina.  This makes them the ideal baitfish to use for sailfish, dolphin, tuna and sharks this time of year when the winds are up.

Capt Chris holding a big amberjack next to the 2 kids who caught it on the boat.

Big amberjack caught by these kids on our drift fishing trip aboard the Catch My Drift.

Great fishing this month as we transition from the scorching hot summer months to the breezier, less humid and much cooler autumn months.  Good luck to all those fishing with us over the next few weeks.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse
www.FishHeadquarters.com
754-214-7863

Nice dolphin being held up on the gaff.

Nice dolphin on the gaff, just caught on the sportfishing boat.

A Great Month For Our Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Mick holding an approximately 65 pound grouper at the dock

Humongous Black Grouper caught dropping over a shipwreck during our sportfishing charter.

It’s been a hot month for our Fort Lauderdale fishing charters.  For one, the temps this year are hot.  It’s a good thing we have an air conditioned cabin where you can escape the heat.  But more importantly, the fishing is hot too.  The reefs are holding some fish.  Bonitos are all over the reefs.  Bonitos are great because they are good size fish, averaging 8-15 pounds, sometimes even bigger.  They also are tremendous fighters for their size.  I would say that bonitos rival any fish as the strongest fish in the ocean, pound for pound.  The summer months are when the bonitos come through our waters, full force, in numbers that are not even countable.  Providing great action on our trolling and drifting trips, bonitos are a revitalizing force that rejuvenates our reefs with lots of fresh activity, of which the effects can be felt many months after they leave.  They are our main baitfish source for the whole year, providing baits for our fishing charters to catch everything from small snappers all the way to blue marlin and swordfish.

Family just back from a fishing trip with lots of kingfish.

Nice catch of kingfish caught on our sportfishing charter by these fishermen.

Kingfish action is awesome this month too.  Lots of kings, ranging from 5-15 pounds, are biting voraciously along the 95′ reef off the Ft Lauderdale coast.  It had been a tough year for kings up until this month.  We hadn’t really had much action on them, just a few here and a few there.  This month, they lit up like a brush fire.  The past week or better, we’ve been limiting out on kingfish within the first 2 hours of the trip.  We have to throw the rest that we catch back.  It’s awesome to see the kingfish coming through in such great numbers.  Kingfish are actually really good eating fish, they have a bad reputation.  This is because people try to freeze kingfish or delay eating it.  Kingfish must be eaten right away, or thrown away.  You cannot freeze kingfish, it ruins it.  Something about the meat doesn’t cure when it freezes, probably the fish oils.  Even if it is frozen for only 2 days, it doesn’t eat the same.  You must eat your kingfish the same day as you catch it, that’s the rule.  Tons of kingfish are hitting the docks this month.  August and September are always great months for catching kings.

Charter group holding a nice catch of dolphin just caught on our sportfish charter.

Nice catch of dolphin on our sportfishing charter out of Ft Lauderdale

A little barracuda, tuna and wahoo action is mixed in with the bonitos and kingfish frenzy.  Most of the fish that we’re getting into are bonitos and kings, but every once in a while, something else jumps on the line.  If it’s a surface bite, it could be a barracuda, mahi-mahi or possibly even a sailfish.  If it’s a deep bite, it could be a blackfin tuna or wahoo.  All those same species live in the same waters that kingfish and bonitos do, and they feed on the same baitfish.  If you are in the zone where you are catching the kings and bonitos, you are in the perfect zone for wahoo, tuna, cuda and sailfish.  Anything can jump on the line at any minute when you are trolling.

Mick holding a lit up wahoo just caught trolling off Ft Lauderdale

Nice wahoo just caught on our sportfishing charter. Wahoo is all lit up and still has it’s stripes

Shark fishing has been awesome as well.  Big sharks bite in the late summer, usually bull sharks, duskys or spinner sharks.  We caught more sharks this year that I have ever seen caught in a single year.  The shark fishing off Fort Lauderdale was simply phenomenal.  With all the bonitos and kingfish this year, it’s easy to see why the sharks are here.  It’s all about the food.  If you want to go out there and go after a sea monster, then a shark fishing charter is the trip for you.  We probably have another month and a half of really good shark fishing out here.  After that, the sailfish begin to be the preferred big game fish to target.  Good luck to everyone fishing over the next few weeks.  I will sea you on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse
www.FishHeadquarters.com
754-214-7863

Family holding their fish up out at sea, bunch of dolphin and tunas.

Bunch of tunas and small dolphin caught by this family on our sportfishing charter

Great Summertime Action on Our Ft Lauderdale Fishing Charters

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Ashley and Justin kneeling on deck with a big pile of bonitos laying on the deck of the boat.

Great catch of bonitos and kingfish on our drift fishing trip aboard the Catch My Drift.

The action is astounding on our fishing trips this week.  The bonito run in full force as they charge through our waters in tremendous numbers.  Bonitos are in the same family of fish as tuna and they have all their same traits of aggressiveness, super strength and frenzied feeding.    The sheer number of bonitos that we catch this month and next is staggering.  Kingfish are snapping also.  They are mixed in with the bonitos.  Kings swim in the same waters and feed on the same diet that bonitos do.  Blackfin tunas are also biting good these days and are the third most prevalent fish on the reefs.  All 3 legs of that tripod are making up the majority of our catches this month and are providing great action on our Ft Lauderdale fishing charters.

Lady holding a big kingfish she just caught.

Nice kingfish caught by this fisher gal on our sportfishing trip.

The action is on fire on the reefs and those aren’t the only fish biting.  A few big wahoo have hit the docks too.  Wahoo are a summertime fish and act just like a bonito when on the line.  You never know if you’ve hooked a big wahoo or a big bomber bonito until you get the fish up close to the boat.  Every now and then, you see those stripes and the adrenaline pumps and you’ve got a wahoo behind the boat!  Wahoo are famous for shaking the hooks right behind the transom of the boat.  That’s what makes them so awesome to catch, the rarity and the difficulty to successfully land them.

Guy holding a big wahoo at the dock next to the Mary B III.

Nice wahoo caught fishing aboard the Mary B III on a sportfishing charter.

Sailfish are another less abundant fish on the reefs this time of year but still a possible catch.  Sails are one of the most sought after fish in the ocean and one of the biggest fish we catch fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  They are called the ballerina of the sea because of the spectacular jumping displays they put on.  Sailfish always grab the surface lures.  They come up and bat the bait using their bill.  It often takes them 10-12 attempts at coming up and whacking at the bait before they get it down their mouths.  As soon as you come tight on them, they come up jumping.  It’s one of the most exciting moments in sportfishing when you get your first sailfish on the line, jumping behind the boat. We don’t catch sailfish every day, but when we do it sure is exciting.

2 guys holding a sailfish just caught off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.

Big sailfish caught trolling the reef on our sportfishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

Barracudas are a top predator of the reef and they too come through this month.  There’s nothing out there a barracuda can’t eat.  Their razor sharp teeth can cut through anything, so a 5 pound barracuda can take a big chunk out of a 50 pound fish.  What happens a lot this time of year is that you are fighting a bonito to the boat and a barracuda comes up and bites the tail off your bonito on the way in.  Get your fish into the boat quick!

Lucky angler caught this big barracuda.

Nice barracuda caught trolling the Ft Lauderdale reef.

Some mahi-mahi are offshore if you go looking for them.  It helps to go out on a 6 or an 8 hour charter, so you have ample time to go offshore and plenty of time to troll around looking for fish.  With the summertime dolphin bite, it’s all about covering a lot of ground with your lures out and following weedlines, chasing birds and looking for floating debris.  The great thing about summertime mahi-mahi fishing is that when you do find that school of mahi after trolling for them for so long, it’s usually a big school of them and you can load the box.  Dolphin fishing is often described as hours and hours of boredom, interrupted by a moment of panic.  The dolphin of the summer are generally schoolie sized fish, 3-4 pounders.

Guy holding 3 dolphin at the dock, one is being held by his mouth

A few nice dolphin caught on our sportfishing charter.

Sharks are the kings out there and along with all the commotion happening on the reefs with the big runs of bonitos, come the sharks.  Bull sharks and dusky sharks are biting best right now, but you never know what kind of big game shark you might catch when soaking a couple big shark baits out in 200-300 feet of water.  We caught a huge tiger shark a week ago that must have weighed over 500 pounds.  There are some massive sharks biting in July and August in south Florida.

Nice lemon shark next to the boat during our shark fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale

Big lemon shark caught on our sportfishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale

Summer is one of my favorite times of year.  The action is great so everyone usually catches fish and they are bigger fish at that.  In the summer months, the bonitos bite better in the mornings and the tunas and mahi-mahi usually bite better in the afternoons.  Good luck to everyone fishing out there this month.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse
www.FishHeadquarters.com
754-214-7863

Group holding a bunch of bonitos and kingfish

Nice catch of bonitos, kingfish and tuna on our sportfishing charter

Girl holding a big kingfish aboard the Catch My Drift in the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway

Nice kingfish caught by this fisher gal on our drift fishing trip

Nice grouper caught deep dropping

Big black grouper caught while deep dropping over a shipwreck.