Outstanding Fishing in Fort Lauderdale this Week

Nice hammerhead shark in the boat

Big hammerhead shark caught and released aboard the Big Game

The fishing is heating up in Fort Lauderdale this week.  Sharks are snapping in 350ft of water.  Hammerheads, makos and thresher sharks are all out there and moving through in strong numbers.  Head out about a mile and a half offshore, set your baits and wait a bit.  Chum the water and hum the theme to Jaws.  You won’t have to wait too long to get a bite on something that is probably larger than you are.  These monsters are 8-12ft and 200-400 pounds.  While you’re shark fishing, you may even pick up a big dolphin or a sailfish, everything is biting this time of year.

nice dolphin just caught in Ft Lauderdale

Nice dolphin just caught on a sportfishing charter.

Big dolphin have been a big hit this month.  10-20 pounders are hitting the docks every day and a few dolphin even bigger.  This is the best time of the year for the big dolphin in Fort Lauderdale.  Wahoo, tuna and sailfish are also swimming in the same waters and eat the same baits, so we’re catching them too.  We should have continued good dolphin fishing through June when it will subside and the fish will head much further offshore. Until then, it’s game on!

Nice amberjack just caught off a wreck

Nice amberjack caught deep dropping over a shipwreck.

Amberjacks are also a big hit this month.  Amberjacks, or AJs as we call them, are abundant on and around our local shipwrecks.  They stay close to the big structure and feed on all the smaller fish that also make the wrecks their home.  Amberjacks are voracious feeds and an extremely strong fighting fish.  They put up a great fight, even on the heaviest tackle, making them an attractive gamefish.  Drop a live bait down next to a shipwreck in 200-400ft of water and you shouldn’t have to wait long to get hooked into a big amberjack.

Golden tilefish caught in 600ft of water

Nice golden tilefish caught deep dropping in over 600ft of water

Tilefish are another deep dweller but these guys are really deep.  We catch grey tilefish in 400ft of water and golden tilefish in over 600ft of water.  These are one of the tastiest fish in the ocean.  Tilefish fight all the way up from the bottom, struggling the whole way.  While other fish like groupers give up half way up, tilefish don’t stop their fight until they are in the fish box.  We’re having an excellent year on these deep dwelling bottomfish, they are almost a guaranteed bite.

Bonitos and tunas on the dock

Nice catch of bonitos and tunas on a sportfishing trip.

Just about everything is biting out there this time of year, even bonitos and tunas.  While the massive ‘bonito run’ won’t begin until late July, there are some schools of them showing up already.  Mixed in with those bonito are blackfin tunas.  Like I said, everything is biting!  This is a great time of year to come fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  We wait all year for the good fishing we’re having now so come on out while the bite is good.  Let’s go fishing!

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Dolphin Action on our All Day Fishing Trip

Nice dolphin catch on the Mary B III

Nice catch of dolphin on the Mary B III fishing trip

Our all day dolphin trip today had a great catch of dolphin.  They were biting in 150-400ft of water, just 1-2 miles off Fort Lauderdale beach.  We caught them scattered along the blue-green color change which is the edge of the Gulfsteam.  This warm water current, brings with it all the migratory fish, such as dolphin, tuna, wahoo, sailfish and more.  Today, it was dolphin and almost all the fish we caught were really nice ones.  Only one of the dolphin was under 10 pounds and the largest was 24 pounds.

Nice dolphin fish

Nice dolphin fish caught on the Mary B III All Day Trip

The dolphin were scattered and not schooled up.  We only caught 2 of the dolphin together, the rest were randomly caught throughout the day.  Usually, when we find dolphin, we find them all clumped together in a big school.  Today was not like that.  We caught them sporadically throughout the trip along weedlines, under birds circling low to the water and near floating debris.  It was more fun this way for us because there was action throughout the trip.  The dolphin bite is hot in south Florida right now.  This is the month that the dolphin come into the reef to do their annual spawning.  If you want to come out on a great trip to catch some mahi-mahi, do our all day trip aboard the Mary B III or a sportfishing charter.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week!

dolphin and kingfish at the dock

Nice catch of dolphin and kingfish at the dock

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Mako Shark Caught Today on a Shark Fishing Charter

nice mako shark at the dock

Nice mako shark at the dock after a shark fishing charter

Today was pretty cool, we caught a nice mako shark on a shark fishing charter.  Mako sharks are rare to catch fishing in Fort Lauderdale, so it was a treat for us.  We caught the mako in 350ft of water, kite fishing on the edge of the Gulfstream.  We were shark fishing with a spread of live goggle eyes in the kite and some big shark baits positioned mid-depth and on the bottom.  The mako took the mid-depth bait, a big bonito butterflied and rigged on heavy piano wire (#19 wire).  We knew it was a mako right away because as soon as it took the bait, the mako shot straight up to the surface and skyrocketed, jumping almost 15ft out of the water.  Makos are one of the very few sharks that will jump out of the water when on the line and they are famous for jumping up to 30ft high.  They are an awesome shark, with the gnarliest set of snaggle-teeth you will ever see in a shark.  They are shaped like a torpedo, perfectly hydrodynamic to achieve tremendous speeds.  We caught the mako pretty quickly, in under a 40 minute fight on our 80W Penn International.  This is shark fishing season in Fort Lauderdale and the sharks are snapping, but mako sharks are quite rare for us to catch this far south.  It was very cool to see.  We also caught a nice amberjack deep dropping on a wreck.  Nice fish!

Nice mako shark just caught

Nice mako shark just caught on a shark fishing charter in Ft Lauderdale

ambejack caught deep drop fishing on a wreck

Amberjack caught deep drop fishing on a wreck

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Mahi-mahi Fishing this week in Fort Lauderdale

Nice mahi-mahi just caught

Nice mahi-mahi just caught on a sportfishing charter

The mahi-mahi bite is hot just outside the reef of Fort Lauderdale.  For a few weeks in March, the mahi-mahi come in closer to shore than normal to do their annual spawn.  It usually happens the last couple weeks of March.  This week, we’re getting into some very nice mahi-mahi in 100-300ft of water, just a mile off our coast.  Trolling and kite fishing work best for catching these dolphin fish, trolling for action and kite fishing for the biggest ones.  Throughout the year, most of our dolphin are schoolie sized, 3-5 pounders.  This time of year is when the big ones hit, 10-20 pounders are much more common and a few monster bulls will be caught also.

Nice wahoo at the dock

Nice wahoo just caught trolling in Fort Lauderdale

Tunas, wahoo and sailfish are also biting good and in the same area where we’re catching the dolphin.  100-300ft of water is the magic zone to catch just about anything this month.  Blackfin tunas are schooling up and being caught on bug jigs and spoons.  Bonitos are mixed in with the schools of blackfins.  Wahoo usually stay deep, sometimes underneath schools of blackfins that are busting on the surface and sometimes just randomly on their own.  Sailfish are still moving through our waters strong and are being caught with some regularity while kite fishing.  You can’t go wrong no matter how you fish in March.

Nice cubera snapper caught deep dropping

Nice Cubera Snapper caught deep dropping on a wreck

Amberjacks, groupers, snappers and more are showing up around the wrecks.  Good action on the wrecks in 200-400ft of water.  A couple days ago we caught a nice Cubera Snapper.  We hardly ever catch those.  Just goes to show you how much variety and unusual fish are biting out there.  Amberjacks have been monsters, some of them over 50 pounds.  They are stacking up around the shipwrecks in awesome numbers and biting anything we throw down to them.  Andy, one of our regular sportfishing customers, went fishing the other day and said he wanted to go jack fishing.  We did and we caught some monsters for him.  The fishing is going great this March and it should last throughout April and May as well.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week.

Monster amberjack

Amberjack-a-saurus caught deep dropping on a shipwreck

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

They’re Here! Dolphin Run Is Happening in Ft Lauderdale

Nice dolphin just caught off Fort Lauderdale

Beauty of a dolphin caught sportfishing in Fort Lauderdale

It happens every year.  Whenever we get a strong easterly wind in March, the dolphin fishing action heats up in Fort Lauderdale.  Dolphin come right in on the reef to do their annual spawn.  These dolphin, normally an offshore fish, are being caught inshore of 300ft of water, just outside the reef.  While there are some schoolies mixed in, many of the dolphin we’re catching right now are nice size ones, 10-20 pounders.  This is the all-around best time of year for dolphin fishing.  It usually lasts anywhere from a couple weeks to a month and a half, depending on how long we get the strong winds out of the east.

Nice dolphin just boated

Nice dolphin just boated on a Fort Lauderdale fishing trip

Dolphin fishing is awesome but they aren’t the only fish in the sea.  This is also a great time for sailfish fishing, pretty much the same waters where we’re catching the dolphin.  Sailfish feed on the same baitfish and swim in the same water column as dolphin do, so we catch both species doing the same fishing techniques.  Kite fishing and trolling are the best fishing techniques to target these surface feeding gamefish.  This week, the sailfishing has been going off, especially in the afternoons.

Nice sailfish jumping next to the boat

One of 2 sailfish caught today on the Mary B III

Wahoo, tuna and kingfish are also biting pretty good on the reef.  This time of year, just about everything is biting.  Trolling is especially good this season because the boat is moving and you can cover a lot of territory.

Nice kingfish caught in the late afternoon

Nice kingfish caught in the late afternoon off the coast of Ft Lauderdale

Wreck fishing is also great this time of year because of the amberjacks.  Big amberjacks stack up around the shipwrecks in 200-300ft of water.  The wrecks are a great source of food with the numerous schools of baitfish that also make these shipwrecks their home.  Amberjacks are tremendous fighters.  They are extremely fun to catch as they put up one helluva fight.  Groupers are around the wrecks too, but unfortunately, if you catch one, you have to throw it back.  Groupers are out of season until May 1.  Fortunately with all the dolphin action, sailfish around and amberjacks around the wrecks, there’s plenty of fish to keep an angler busy.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week.

Nice tuna fish caught trolling

Nice tuna caught trolling in 200ft of water in Ft Lauderdale

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Great swordfishing trip today in Fort Lauderdale

Nice swordfish, dolphin and wahoo

Nice swordfish, dolphin and wahoo caught offshore of Fort Lauderdale

We had an awesome swordfishing trip today in Fort Lauderdale.  We went out daytime swordfishing on a charter and got one!  We started off trolling offshore and hit a couple nice mahi-mahi right off the bat.  As we were getting them close to the boat, an estimated 400 pound mako shark came up and ate both of them off the line.  We tried throwing a shark bait out to the mako, but it didn’t work.  We weren’t fast enough I guess.  We got out there to swordfish ground and started doing our drops.  The first drop nothing and the second drop we hooked up to this nice swordfish.  We caught him and threw him in the box.  We kept swordfishing for a few more drops with no more luck.  Glad we got the first one, it made the day.

Mahi-mahi dolphin caught offshore Ft Lauderdale

Nice mahi-mahi caught trolling offshore of Fort Lauderdale

On the way home, we trolled and caught a couple more mahi-mahi (one real nice one and one smaller one) and a nice wahoo.  A great day of fishing offshore of Fort Lauderdale.  There have been some nice swordfish biting off our coast, it was great to catch this one.  We don’t get to go swordfishing as often as we’d like, so this is a very special fish for us to catch.  The guys went home with a lot of good eating fish fillets from this trip.  We’re getting into our best time of year for swordfishing and fishing in general.  Fort Lauderdale really shines the next couple of months fishing wise.  This is a great time to come out and book a trip.  Let’s go fishing!

Capt Rod with a swordfish

Nice swordfish caught deep dropping offshore of Fort Lauderdale

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Action Packed March Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

Nice wahoo just caught

Nice wahoo caught aboard the Big Game.

The fishing is going off in Fort Lauderdale this week.  Lots of wahoos, tunas, sailfish, sharks, amberjacks and more are biting.  March is the season when everything starts picking up and the biggest fish of the whole year hit the dock.  Already we’re seeing the action on the reefs and wrecks begin lighting up!  With the nice calm weather we’re having, we’ve fished every single day the past week.  Some big wahoos are biting in 200-300ft of water.  We’re catching them trolling the planers at a fast clip.  Yesterday, Capt. Dave and Chris landed a triple header wahoo!  On the same trip they caught a couple nice blackfin tunas and a couple bonitos.

Nice amberjack caught deep dropping

Nice amberjack caught deep dropping on a shipwreck

You might recognize this family.  They were the ones that caught the monster Hammerhead shark with us last year!  They came back this year and caught this beauty of an amberjack.  This is the time of year when they big jacks begin showing up around our local shipwrecks in 200+ feet of water.  They congregate hard around these wrecks, as it is a source of constant food for their voracious appetites.  In another month, the jacks will be so thick around the wrecks, we won’t be able to drop the bait fully to the bottom without it being eaten by a hungry jack.  The fishing in Ft Lauderdale in the spring months IS THAT GOOD.

Nice jumping shot of a sailfish jumping

Nice sailfish jumping out of the water off Fort Lauderdale

Sailfish are still biting strong out here too.  The winter is the best season of the year for sailfish, but there are always some around in the spring too.  This week, we’ve had a great run of sailfish.  They are biting anywhere from 100-500ft of water.  Kite fishing with live goggle eyes has been working the best, but a few sailfish are being caught trolling too.  Sharks are also biting on the kites in the same depths of water.  Whenever we kite fish for sailfish, we always throw out a shark bait in case Jaws swims by.  We caught this nice tiger shark the other day doing this.

Nice tiger shark caught and released

Nice tiger shark Catch and Release aboard the Big Game

Out in the really deep waters, tilefish are showing up.  Not the regular grey tilefish we’ve been catching all winter long.  Golden tilefish, the tilefish that live in super deep waters, are biting in 500+ feet of water on the bottom.  If the conditions are right and there isn’t too much current to contend with, deep dropping in 500ft of water is working great for excellent golden tilefish catches this week.  Golden tilefish are great eating fish.  Some call them “poor man’s lobster”.  They are tough to catch, but worth the effort.  They are exceptional fighters too, fighting with all their strength the entire fight up to the surface.

Big golden tilefish

Monster golden tilefish caught in 600ft of water off Fort Lauderdale

The action is great on all kinds of species off our coast.  No matter what type of fish you’re after, March through May is our all-around best season of the year to come fishing.  Good luck to all the anglers fishing with us this week.  Catch ‘em up!

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Giant Hammerhead Shark Caught- Shark Fishing Season is Here!

Monster Hammerhead shark next to the boat

Bobby leadering a monster hammerhead shark caught by Diana January

Today we caught a monster hammerhead shark, fishing in 350ft of water off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.  The Out of the Blue, with Capt. Rod at the helm, led the expedition with some folks that wanted to “catch something big!”  With that in mind, we went out to our shark fishing grounds, about a mile and a half off the coast of Fort Lauderdale beach which is about 350ft deep of water.  Bobby, first mate aboard the boat, set the lines including a shark bait on the bottom, a shark bait positioned mid-depth held in place with a balloon, and a couple of baits fished out of our fishing kites (live goggle eyes).  We sat there for about 40 minutes with no action before we got the bite.

The shark hit the bottom bait, our 130 Penn International we had set in the covering board.  On the bite, the rod doubled over and the rod tip nearly touched the water.  Bobby screamed on the bite, “There he is!!  Go Cap’, Go!!!!”.  Rod pulled ahead with the boat hard to set the hook and we got the angler strapped into the fighting chair to fight the fish.  Our angler’s name was Diana January, a gal from Texas, who was going to catch this shark no matter what.  We fought the shark, without seeing him, for almost 2 hours.  Finally, the angler and the shark equally exhausted, we landed the fish.  We got the fish measured and photographed, and ultimately cut the leader on the fish so he could swim away.

We are now fully into the famous shark fishing months off the south Florida coast.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of these APEX predators, swim offshore of our coastline, migrating for food and mating purposes.  They use the Gulfstream current as a sort of “conveyor belt” to maximize their migration efforts and keep them in prime areas for hunting.  We have, over the next few months, some of the best, world-class shark fishing there is to be had on this planet.  If you’re into fishing for and fighting one of the largest and most sought after predators in the sea, book your shark fishing charter with us now.  February through May tend to be the peak months.  Some years, shark season extends all the way into June and July, but you never know.  Thanks for fishing with us Diana, I’m glad you caught yourself a monster!  Good luck to everyone fishing this next week.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Sailfish and Wahoo fishing action is heating up in Fort Lauderdale

wahoo and tunas

Wahoos and Tunas are biting great on the Fort Lauderdale reef

The wahoo and sailfish bite is on fire off the coast of Fort Lauderdale this week.  Wahoos are biting right on the reef in as shallow as 80 feet of water.  Sailfish too are making a strong surge in their numbers, with our boats averaging 2-3 per day.  This is to be expected in February.  As the fronts move through and the barometer drops, the fishing action heats up.  Wahoo are biting best on the troll and are slamming the deep baits.  Wire leaders are a must as those razor sharp teeth will cut through anything not made of steel.  We’re also catching a few wahoo live baiting, either out of the kites or slow trolling live baits from of the outriggers.  The numbers of wahoo we’re catching on our sportfishing charters this year is extraordinary.

Sailfish catch and release

Nice sailfish caught and released on our sportfishing charter

Sailfish action remains strong through the depths of 90-150ft of water, also known as “Sailfish Alley”.  Kite fishing is the most effective method to catch sailfish and they are eating goggle eyes, pilchards and mullet baits the best.  Trolling can also be effective for sailfish, as you cover much more water when trolling, but kite fishing is still the best.  The cooler weather coming this week should get them even more stirred up.  February is traditionally the last really good month on sailfish here in Fort Lauderdale and it looks like February is going to finish off an already great season with a bang.

Nice wahoo

Nice wahoo caught trolling in Ft Lauderdale on a charter

Tunas, kingfish and mahi-mahi are also patrolling the reef and add a little variety to our catches these days.  Look forward to some awesome mahi-mahi fishing towards the end of the month and into March.  Last year was outstanding mahi-mahi fishing as the mahi-mahi came into 100-300ft of water during any easterly wind.  Tunas are mostly small, but they school up and we catch a lot of them when we find a school.  Sometimes bigger tunas are mixed in with the small tunas and will make a fatal mistake of taking our baits.  They all taste good!


Nice amberjack just caught deep dropping on a shipwreck

Wreck fishing for amberjacks is also starting to get good.  During the spring months, the amberjacks school up in the wrecks so thick that you can hardly get a bait down to the bottom.  They are already starting to make their presence known and are getting more and more aggressive when fishing around our local wrecks.  Groupers, out of season now, are also biting good.  Fun to catch and it hurt to have to throw back such a tasty fish.  I’ve been seeing more and more groupers since the grouper season took effect so the regulations they are making are working.  We’re stocking up for the rest of the year, so book your grouper charters now (anytime after May 1).

Nice red grouper just caught fishing over a shipwreck

Nice red grouper caught by these ladies fishing atop a wreck

Shark fishing season is also getting underway.  February is the start of our shark fishing season where thousands upon thousands of hammerhead sharks make their migration down our coastline.  This is our Big Game fishing season here in Fort Lauderdale and we’re beginning to catch our first few of the year now.  Shark season lasts well into June and sometimes through as late as August.  March through May are the peak months.  Good luck to everyone fishing out there over the next couple weeks.  You have plenty of fish to keep yourself busy with reeling in!

Big spinner shark next to the boat

Nice spinner shark right next to the boat on a shark fishing charter

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Excellent Snapper Fishing on the Drift Boat

Nice hog snapper

Nice hog snapper caught drift fishing aboard the Catch My Drift

There’s a great snapper bite happening in Fort Lauderdale this week.  Mangrove snappers, yellowtails, mutton snappers, hog snappers and more are biting on our daily drift fishing trips and night anchor fishing trips.  On the day trips, we’re catching them fishing the bottom with a half a plug of a cigar minnow. A 2 ounce lead and a 3-4ft leader is getting the best bite.  Using this rig, we’re catching some nice mutton snappers, a few big yellowtails and mangroves and the occasional hog snapper. We’re also catching some porgies, grunts, triggers, margartes and other bottom dwellers.  Groupers will also take this bait, but they are not in season right now.  Daytime action is very good on our drifting trips this week.

Nice mutton and mangrove snappers

Nice mutton and mangrove snappers caught night fishing

Night fishing is the best time to go for snappers.  While snappers will bite good during the day, they are traditionally nocturnal feeders and they come out of the woodwork to feed on our night anchor trips.  They throw caution to the wind at night and come out of their holes to hunt for prey.  Squid is usually the best bait to use at night for snappers.  You can catch bigger snappers using a single hook rig with a longer leader, but a chicken rig is best for catching the most numbers.  A lot of the yellowtails we catch in the winter are small ones… about half are keeper size ones and half are throw-backs.  The ‘tails are beginning to grow though as more and more larger yellowtails are hitting the deck each night.  The mangroves we catch this time of year are very large, as are the muttons.

Mutton snapper

Nice mutton snapper caught night time anchor fishing on the Catch My Drift

The best thing about snapper fishing is that you don’t need to be an expert to catch them.  Yes, more experienced fishermen have the advantage and will catch more than the average angler.  But with snappers, it’s a numbers fish and even inexperienced first time fishermen should be able to hook into and catch a nice bunch of them.  At night, snappers aren’t the only fish to come out to feed.  We catch an array of other fish at night including eels, chubs, jacks, blue runners, sharks, scorpion fish, lionfish, groupers and too many to mention other species.  You can catch anything at night and on the trips this week, we certainly have.  If you’d like to come on an action packed fishing trip and catch some great eating fish to take home an fry up, come fishing on a night anchor fishing trip.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week.  Check out our facebook page to see all our catches as I post a lot more fish pictures from our daily trips there.  www.facebook.com/FishingHQ

nice snapper for this lady angler

Nice catch of a mutton snapper for this lady angler fishing aboard the Catch My Drift

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse