Fishing Picking Up in Fort Lauderdale- Hot Reef Action

Nice dolphin and wahoo catch in Ft Lauderdale

Nice catch of dolphin and wahoo on our sportfishing charter

The fishing is picking up this week in Fort Lauderdale.  The drift boats are catching lots of yellowtail and mangrove snappers.  Sportfishing boats are catching a mix of tunas, bonitos, kingfish, mahi-mahi and wahoo.  Some big fish are showing up around the wrecks too including big groupers and amberjacks.  Our fishing action is heating up as fast as the south Florida weather.

Nice snapper catch on the drift boat

Nice catch of snappers caught drift fishing on the Catch My Drift.

First off, the drift boat trips are catching a lot of snappers.  Yellowtails and mangroves are biting great on all 3 trips (morning, afternoon and night).  Almost all of them are keeper size and we’re catching good numbers of them.  A few of our mangrove snappers have been humongous lately.  Lots of grunts, porgies, toro, jacks and other small bottom fish are biting.  A few kingfish are starting to bite on the drift boat, with a couple bonitos mixed in.  Our night anchor fishing trip is slamming a lot of snappers, mostly yellowtails and mangroves but a few muttons mixed in.  Groupers are biting too, but not in abundance.  A few red groupers, a rare black and quite a few hinds/coneys.

Nice pile of fish on the dock after a trip

Nice catch of yellowtails, muttons and lots of action on the drift boat.

Sportfishing boats are doing well trolling the reef.  Action is good with some bonitos, small blackfin tunas, kingfish keeping the action steady throughout the trip and every now and then something unexpected jumps on there.  Odd ball catches on the reef this season are larger sized blackfin tunas, barracuda, sailfish, wahoo and sometimes even jacks or pompano.  Wrecks are holding some good fish.  Amberjacks are here and biting on all the wrecks over 200ft deep.  Some big groupers have hit the dock this week too.  You never know what you might catch live baiting around the shipwrecks.


Blackfin tuna off Ft Lauderdale

Nice blackfin tuna caught trolling the reef.

There’s good action on the troll with the possibility of catching something bigger.  If you troll a little further offshore, some dolphin are showing up about 8-10 miles offshore.  They are mostly schoolies, schooled up so if you find a school, you can sit on it and catch a bunch of them.  Watch for floating debris, weedlines, birds or anything out of the ordinary to find fish.  When you get one on the line, keep it in the water for a minute or two to see if a school shows up.

Nice dolphin just boated

24 pound dolphin just caught trolling in Fort Lauderdale

There’s plenty to keep you busy this month fishing the waters of Fort Lauderdale.  Good luck to everyone fishing over the next couple weeks.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Nice amberjack caught deep dropping

Amberjack caught deep dropping on a shipwreck offshore Ft Lauderdale

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Off and On Fishing this week in Fort Lauderdale

Nice wahoo just caught

Nice wahoo just boated fishing offshore Ft Lauderdale

A line from one of my favorite books, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” pretty much sums up the fishing this week in Fort Lauderdale.  We had some awesome trips where we hit wahoo, mahi-mahi or some big fish off the wrecks and we had some trips where we couldn’t get a bite no matter what we tried.  The good news is that the fish are out there, they just aren’t making it easy on us.  Dolphin are showing up offshore, in approx 500-600ft of water.  That’s only a couple miles off our coast, so you don’t need to go super far offshore to find them.  It’s best to go trolling for them as you can cover a lot more ground on the move with your lures out.  Our trip yesterday was trolling and found some frigate birds flying overhead.  They hit a nice school of mahi-mahi and ended up with a great catch.  A few big wahoo were also caught this week.  We catch them trolling as well, usually on our deep planer baits.  Wahoo love deep trolled lures.  This is a good month for wahoo in South Florida, as you can catch them at just about any place and at any time.  You just need to run over them.

Nice mahi-mahi catch on our sportfish trip

Nice catch of mahi-mahi on our sportfishing charter.

Tunas are also biting very good.  They are mostly the small to medium sized tunas, but sometimes a big one takes the bait.  They are all keepers though and excellent eating size. We had a fishing charter on our higher capacity vessel, the Mary B III and they caught a ton of blackfin tunas, one big blackfin tuna and about 20 big, fat vermillion snappers.  Not a bad catch!  Tunas are popping up on the reefs, especially in the afternoons.  We find them busting small baitfish on the surface and you can see a field of splashes on the top of the water where they are feeding.  We troll around these fields of tuna with some natural feathers and small, streamline lures for the best results, and we can usually catch a nice bunch of them before we spook the school and they disappear.

Nice catch of tunas and dolphins

Tunas and dolphins caught on our sportfishing charter

Wrecks are holding some nice fish too.  Some big amberjacks are showing up on our 200-300ft deep shipwrecks as they always do this time of year.  This is the month of the amberjack’s migration through south Florida as they congregate around the wrecks to feed on the abundance of small fish that also congregate on the wrecks.  I’m not sure where they go after they move through our waters, but they will be here through the end of June and then disappear.  Groupers, cobia, snapper and tilefish are also biting good around these shipwrecks.  When we can’t find anything trolling, hitting the wrecks is a good, high-percentage way to put fish in the boat.  To sum it all up, there is some good fishing out there but the fish are not making it easy on us.  You just have to fish hard and put in the time.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week with us.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Nice amberjack pulled up from a shipwreck

Nice amberjack caught deep dropping over a shipwreck.

Nice AJ just brought up from a wreck

Nice AJ caught deep dropping in Fort Lauderdale

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Great Fishing This Week in Ft Lauderdale- Some really good catches

Dolphin, tuna catch at the dock

Nice catch of dolphins, tunas and wahoo on our sportfishing charter

We’re having an excellent week of fishing on our sportfishing and drift fishing trips.  There are a lot of species out there biting and some big fish to be caught.  Of course, every day is different so not every day is a banner day, but this is definitely one of our best times of year for fishing.  First off, dolphin are out there and biting good.  Trolling is a great way to go after dolphin as you can cover a lot of ground dragging lures around.  We can try different depths, different fishing areas and look around for activity such as birds or fish busting on the surface. This week, scattered dolphin are biting just outside the reef and tunas are also popping up and mixed in with our catches.  Yesterday we had Greg and his friends out fishing and caught a whole bunch of mahi-mahi dolphin, some tunas and a nice wahoo!  A few nice wahoo are hitting the docks this week.

Nice inshore fishing catch

Nice catch of kingfish, barracuda and jack crevale on an inshore charter

Some kingfish are also showing up on the reef, a VERY welcome sign.  This year, kingfish have been unusually slow for us off the Fort Lauderdale coast.  Kingfish are one of our “bread and butter” fish that make up a good portion of our catches.  Well, over the past 2 weeks, we’re seeing more and more kingfish biting.  We’re happy to see them and we’re targeting them more and more on our drift and sport fishing trips.  On the trip in the above photo, we started off trolling for kingfish on the reef and later came into the Intracoastal and did some inshore fishing where we caught that giant barracuda and jack crevale.  Sweet catch!

Nice cobia in the boat

This couple caught a nice cobia on their sportfishing charter

Bottom fishing around the shipwrecks has also been very productive.  This is the time of year the big amberjacks take over our local shipwrecks in a big way.  Amberjacks are very aggressive and pounce on a bait seconds of within it coming into their view.  Amberjacks don’t let a live bait swim next to them for very long.  Besides amberjacks, we also catch some other very nice species on the bottom around these underwater structures.  Almaco jacks, groupers and cobia also inhabit these deep wrecks.  Shipwrecks are great artificial reefs which hold some pretty big game fish and make for excellent fishing spots.  Groupers just came into season last week after a 4 month closure.  Also cobia are showing up this time of year and are a very fun fish to catch.  You’ll see us catching a lot of various bottom fish species over the next couple months.  Thank you to everyone who has fished with us this week and good luck to everyone fishing with us in our upcoming trips.  Good luck and I’ll sea ya on the water!

Big black grouper caught drift fishing

Nice black grouper just caught on our drift fishing trip

Almaco jack caught fishing off a shipwreck

Nice almaco jack caught fishing a deep shipwreck in Fort Lauderdale.

Colorful catch of mixed fish caught on a charter

Nice colorful catch of mixed fish on our sportfishing trip.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Grouper Season Open- Groupers biting in Ft Lauderdale

Red grouper caught on the Catch My Drift

Nice red grouper caught drift fishing in Ft Lauderdale

The grouper season started up this week on May 1 and there are some good catches of groupers already hitting the dock in Fort Lauderdale.  Reds, blacks and gag groupers are biting on the reefs and wrecks, just a mile off our coast.  We’re catching them mostly on our drift fishing trips and night anchor fishing trips, both trips which concentrate on bottom fishing.  Squid chunks work well, as do sardines and ballyhoo.  May and June are traditionally 2 of the best months for grouper action.  And while grouper fishing, you’re also in prime area for mangrove and mutton snappers.  Our night anchor trips have been crushing the snappers this week.  Yellowtail snapper are biting excellent and there’s good numbers of mangroves and muttons too.

black grouper caught on drift boat

Nice black grouper caught drifting on the Catch My Drift

On our sportfishing charters, we’re actually catching groupers well on the troll.  Wreck fishing is traditionally the best method to catch groupers, but trolling is working well these days as you can cover a lot of ground on the troll.  And trolling the reef also gives you a good shot at catching kingfish, bonitos, blackfin tuna and mahi-mahi, all of which are biting now.  And let’s not forget our biggest gamefish out there to be caught… sharks.  This is our best time of the year for catching big game sharks.  Several sharks over 200 pound were caught this week.  If you want to go out there and try to catch a fish bigger than you are, shark fishing is for you.  This is perhaps the best month of the year to fish Fort Lauderdale as just about everything is biting.  This great fishing should continue through May and June, when a new batch of summer fish start showing up.  Good luck out there fishing this week.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Groupers on ice

Nice catch of groupers caught trolling

Nice catch of snappers at night

Nice bunch of snappers caught on our night anchor trip

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Fun Fishing Trip Today in Fort Lauderdale

Nice mixed bag of fish caught today on our fishing charter.

Nice catch today with Fishing Headquarters.

We had a fun and exciting trip today, so I figure I’ll write a fishing report about it.  We had some serious fisherwomen on the boat today including Betty Reyher, Ashley Reyher, Laura Hogel, Elizabeth Forde, Jill Irvine and Shelly Lewis.  These gals can fish!  We started off trolling and caught a wahoo right off the bat.  We missed a couple nice dolphin too.  We decided to go out and do some deep dropping for golden tilefish, so we headed offshore with our trolling lines out.  We caught a couple dolphins on the way out there.  We put the kites up with some live goggle eyes and did some deep dropping at the same time.  The golden tilefish were biting good, so we caught a few nice ones.  No action on the kite though.

Wahoo just caught off Fort Lauderdale

Ashley with a nice wahoo just caught

After we got our golden tilefish, we decided to go in a little shallower and drop for snappers.  We caught about 10 vermillion snappers.  The girls had plenty for dinner so we put the trolling lines back out and headed for home, catching one last tuna before we were done.  The action fishing Fort Lauderdale this week has been excellent.  Dolphin, wahoo and tunas are around and although we didn’t catch any today, the sharks and sailfish are biting pretty good too.  Deep dropping is also a great way to get some great eating fish for dinner this time of year.  You can’t go wrong fishing Fort Lauderdale in April and May.  Good luck to everyone fishing this week, the fish are biting!

Nice mixed bag of fish caught on our charter

Nice mixed bag of fish caught on our sportfish charter

Mahi-mahi just caught trolling

Shelly with a mahi-mahi just caught trolling

Nice tilefish just brought up for 600ft deep

Laura with her big golden tilefish

Nice tilefish just caught in Ft Lauderdale

Tilefish just caught deep dropping off Ft Lauderdale

Mahi-mahi caught trolling on the reef

Jill with a mahi-mahi just caught trolling the reef of Ft Lauderdale.

Colorful box of fish caught on our Ft Lauderdale fishing trip today

Colorful box of fish caught on our Fort Lauderdale fishing trip today

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Snappers are snapping on the drift boat this week

mutton snapper just caught drift fishing

The snappers are biting like mad on our drift fishing trips this week.  The yellowtails are hitting, as well as mangroves and muttons too.  Morning trips have been a bit slow, but the afternoon and night trips are making up for it.  The muttons are showing up particularly well on the afternoon trips and the yellowtails/mangroves are snappin’ on the night trip.  The mangroves have been exceptionally big lately.  Ballyhoo plugs and squid are the top baits for these tasty bottom critters.  You have a good shot at catching a bigger snapper on the afternoon trip, but the action is certainly best on the night anchor trips.  Mixed in the the snappers have been lots of grunts, porgies, triggerfish, toros, small sharks and groupers.  Groupers are out of season for a couple more weeks.  May 1 is the start of grouper season where we can keep ‘em.

box full of snappers

For the best action, night is always best.  We’ve had some outstanding night fishing trips this week.  It takes a while to get the snappers chummed up, so be patient.  But once they hone in on that chum, the surround the boat and start biting everything you drop down to them.  A couple nights this week we’ve caught over a hundred fish, 60 or 70 of them keepers.  That’s some good eating!  For the biggest fish, make sure to check out our sportfishing charters, which are catching mahi-mahi, tunas and big game sharks this week.  Good luck to everyone fishing with us over the next few days.  I’ll sea ya on the water!




nice mutton snapper for this young anglerNice mutton snapper caught at nightexcellent night trip for snapper

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Wahoos, Wahoos and More Wahoos. Great Wahoo Action in Ft Lauderdale.

nice wahoos just caught trolling

A double header wahoo caught trolling on our sportfishing charter

Wow, what a week we’ve had trolling for wahoo.  They are jumping in the boat.  Not literally, but they sure are biting good.  The wahoo always bite good around the full moon, and this week is no different.  We’re catching them trolling in 180-450ft of water, just a mile and a half off the Ft Lauderdale coast.  We’ve caught a couple doubles and a couple triples over the past few days.  There are also some mahi-mahi mixed in and a few tunas.  Our sportfishing charters aren’t catching them on every single trip, but this is a great time to come out and fish for the fastest fish in the ocean.  Let’s go fishing!

Nice wahoo just caught in Ft Lauderdale

Nice wahoo caught by this lady angler on our sportfishing charter

Nice wahoo caught trolling outside the reef

Big double wahoo caught trolling 400ft of water

Triple wahoos at the dock

Triple wahoo caught on our sportfishing charter

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Great Week of Fishing in Ft Lauderdale

Nice sailfish just caught

Jay with a big sailfish just caught on a Ft Lauderdale sportfish charter.

It’s been one helluva great week of fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  The dolphin are biting excellent, some sailfish are around and biting, big groupers and other big bottom fish are biting… lots of activity out there on the reefs.  The cold snap we just had over the weekend has really gotten the sailfish frisky.  And with the stiff winds, it’s the perfect conditions for kite fishing.  Sailfish are concentrated in 100-200ft of water, a line of water about a mile off our coast affectionally called ‘Sailfish Alley’.  This is the area just outside the reef and inside edge of the Gulfstream, a perfect zone with a lot of available food for pelagic predators.

dolphin and wahoo catch

Nice dolphin and wahoo catch on our drift boat, the Catch My Drift

The dolphin fishing is really getting good too.  We’re getting them on our drift fishing trips and our sportfishing charters.  Sportfishing charters have the definite advantage in dolphin fishing because they go trolling.  But savvy anglers are hooking into them on the drift too.  Most dolphin have been schoolie sized, with a few bigger ones mixed into the bunch.  Wahoo are out there in good numbers too, also being caught on the troll.


Nice wahoo caught on the troll, a mile off the Fort Lauderdale coast

Wahoo are argued to be the fastest fish in the ocean.  When a wahoo hits your line, there is little doubt of it being anything but a wahoo.  Drag screams off the reel like you just snagged a nuclear submarine.  It’s obvious that a fish shaped like a torpedo is built for speed.  One of the best eating fish out there, wahoo are always a prized fish.  We’ve been catching an inordinate amount of wahoo this week.  February is one of the hottest months for wahoo.

big wahoo

Another big wahoo caught high speed trolling off Fort Lauderdale

This great fishing is just the prelude to our best season on the year… March, April and May.  The best 3 months of big game fishing off our coast is getting rolling now.  This is the start of our big game fishing season in Fort Lauderdale and all evidence points to this being a banner year for us.  We don’t crush them on every single trip, but the fish are definitely out there and waiting to be caught.  Good luck to everyone fishing with us in the coming weeks.  Have fun and catch’em up!


Nice sailfish caught on a cold, windy day in Ft Lauderdale

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

The Dolphin Bite is on in Ft Lauderdale

Monster bull dolphin

Huge bull dolphin caught sportfishing in Ft Lauderdale

It’s been a great couple weeks of dolphin fishing in Ft Lauderdale.  The dolphin are coming in pretty close, almost into the reefs.  The best bite is happening in 200-400ft of water.  Most dolphins have been schoolie sized, with quite a few gaffers mixed in.  The other day, Capt. Rod caught a humongous bull dolphin, a 50 pounder.  This is the season of big fish in Ft Lauderdale.

Nice blackfin tuna at the dock

Mick with a big blackfin tuna caught trolling in Ft Lauderdale

Blackfin tunas are also abundant on the reefs this time of year.  They school up into large pods of fish and you can see them “busting baits” on the surface.  Most of these are football sized fish with the occasional really big one.  They are all keeper sized though and excellent eating.  When trolling, along with the blackfin tunas, we’re catching a few kingfish and sometimes a big wahoo.

nice sailfish just caught

Nice sailfish just caught on our Ft Lauderdale sportfishing charter

Sailfish are biting too!  We’re into the last leg of our awesome sailfish season too.   Sailfish bite throughout the year here in Ft Lauderdale, but the winter months have the highest concentration of them.  We’re catching sailfish consistently using the kite fishing technique and sometimes by trolling.  Sailfish are approximately 7ft in length and are one of the most sought after gamefish in the ocean.  They are one of the most fun fish to catch, with their leaping and somersaults high into the air.  The chilly weather really gets them frisky and the coldest days (cold for Lauderdale is like 65-70 degrees) are when we catch the highest numbers of them.

tilefish caught deep droppin

Nice tilefish we caught fishing one of our secret wrecks off the coast of Ft Lauderdale

Wreck fishing is best during the Spring but the bottom fish are already starting to move in and take their places around our local deep shipwrecks.  Big amberjacks are beginning to bite, a few groupers and an occasional cobia.  You can also catch barracuda, sharks or just about any top predator fish around these underwater structures.  The fishing is getting good, so come on out and wet a line.  You can’t catch them unless you go out there and give it a go.  Sea ya on the water.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

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