Dolphin and Sailfish Are Here!

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Angler making a funny expression as he poses with a dolphin he just caught on the drift boat trip.

Nice dolphin caught by this excited angler on our drift fishing trip aboard the Catch My Drift.

It’s a great time of year to come fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  This time of year, we get the cool, Easterly winds come in and with them comes a plethora of mahi-mahi and sailfish.  This past week, we’ve had off-the-scale mahi-mahi action.  The east winds are blowing the flying fish closer and closer to shore.  Following right behind them are the mahi-mahi.  The mahi-mahi and flying fish end up right in on the reef where it becomes a feeding frenzy.  Our sportfishing trips, which lean heavily on trolling this time of year, really crush the dolphin.  When trolling, you are mobile, you can cover a lot of territory with your full bait spread out and when you do find the fish, you can stay right on top of them trolling in circles.  Our drift fishing trips are catching the dolphin too.  They don’t catch as many, but they are always ready to cast a pitch bait out if they see a dolphin swim up to the boat.  November is probably the second best time of year for catching mahi-mahi dolphin, April and May being the all-around best.  Tunas are mixed in as well to get their fair share of the flying fish action.  We catch a lot of 5-10 pound blackfin tunas among the mahi-mahi when we’re trolling.  It’s a seafood buffet and it’s all you can eat!

2 boys each holding a nice size dolphin fish and a tuna aboard the boat driving through Ft Lauderdale

Nice dolphin and tuna caught by these boys on their deep sea fishing trip.

Sailfish action is heating up too.  The sailfish are kind of late this year.  We didn’t catch many in September or October, which could be because we weren’t fishing that often due to Hurricane Irma and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.  But with that all over, we’ve been fishing every day.  As soon as November hit, the sailfish started biting.  Lots and lots of the 4 foot sailfish (and that is small for a sailfish) were coming up and swatting our trolling baits around trying desperately to get the baits in their mouths.  Bigger sailfish are much for adept at catching and eating our rigged trolling baits.  The small sailfish can catch and get the bait down their mouths, but it takes them a lot of swipes to get it down their mouths.  The big sailfish are now showing up and we’ve started to get some of the big ones these past few days.  November is the first month of stellar sailfishing, which continues through the end of February.  Big game fishermen from all around the world come here to Ft Lauderdale in hopes of catching sailfish, which are probably the most sought after gamefish in the world.

4 buddies along with Capt. Bobby pose with their sailfish they just caught on their bachelor party fishing trip.

Nice sailfish caught by these guys on a bachelor party fishing trip out of Fort Lauderdale.

While sailfish and mahi-mahi are the most popular fish that people desire to catch, mainly because of their colors and the fact that put on an awesome jumping display when on the line, there are other awesome big game fish to be had.  Fort Lauderdale has hundreds, if not thousands of shipwrecks that are sunken off our coast.  Fishing around these shipwrecks is a lot like taking the bait right to dining room.  Rather than trolling where you are driving around looking to find the fish somewhere, when wreck fishing you are going right to where you think they are going to be and dropping a live bait down on top of their head.  A lot of the big bites that we get around the wrecks happens as soon as the bait touches the bottom.  Big groupers, amberjacks and cobia don’t let a live bait swim around for very long before they pounce on it.  Almaco jacks, barracuda, sharks and snappers and also nice big game fish that we catch near the wrecks using the same technique.  With the great action we get trolling the reefs, we don’t spend a lot of time hitting the wrecks, but on a slow fishing day when there isn’t much action on the reef, spend the last hour on top of a shipwreck can often make a slow day of fishing into an exciting one.

Couple guys in gold Fishing Headquarters shirts pose with a big amberjack they just caught off a sunken ship in Ft Lauderdale

Nice amberjack caught deep dropping over a shipwreck on a Ft Lauderdale fishing charter

The last thing I want to mention in this report is our drift fishing trips, particularly our night anchor trips.  November is a great month for drift fishing in Fort Lauderdale too.  The action on snappers is generally very good, some kingfish are biting and we get some odd-ball stuff we normally don’t see on the drift boats such as mahi-mahi and cobia.  Action on the snappers (yellowtail, mangroves and muttons) is very good on the day and night trips.  The day trips catch more mutton snappers but the night trips get the most amount of snappers with lots of yellowtails and mangroves.  My favorite snapper trips are the afternoon and night trips.  They seem to catch the most snappers and come in with good catches of them the highest percentage of trips.  Groupers are biting especially good this month too, much better than last year.  This week I’ve seen some big keeper-sized black groupers and red groupers hit the docks.  We have 2 more months of good grouper fishing before the season gets closed on Jan 1.  I foresee some good grouper fishing this month and next.

Couple guys holding a big black grouper they just caught off the South Florida coast.

Nice black grouper caught on our deep sea fishing charter in South Florida.

It’s a great month for fishing the Fort Lauderdale area.  There’s lots of action to be had, lots of good eating fish and some big game fish too.  There’s something for everyone this month.  Good luck out there on your fishing trips.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

 

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

Matt, very happy, holding a big yellowtail snapper he just caught at night.

Nice yellowtail snapper caught night anchor fishing aboard the Catch My Drift.

Evan in full rain jacket holding a dolphin he just caught aboard the Catch My Drift.

Nice dolphin just caught drift fishing aboard the Catch My Drift.

James holding a nice red grouper at the dock

Nice red grouper caught drift fishing aboard the Catch My Drift.

Great Fort Lauderdale Fishing This Week

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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