Fishing off Fort Lauderdale over the past month has provided a lot of good fishing action. The best mahi-mahi excitement all year, followed by numberous sailfish. Most days kite fishing has been the way to go. Unless the wind is too light, and then trolling live or dead baits is effective.
Although we catch them often, this time of year not everyday is action packed with dolphin and sailfish. Some days, not many game fish are around and other means are neccessary for a good catch. For example, bottom fishing on our numerous artificial reefs can yeild good catches of snapper, grouper and amberjacks.
One trip a few days ago, I was fishing with a group from Texas. They had their hearts set on catching sailfish and dolphin. Out of 6 charter boats out that afternoon, no one even saw a sailfish or dolphin out there. After giving a good attempt at kite fishing, we fished 3 of our best producing wrecks with no success. As time was running out, it looked like our day was going to be a bust. Rod, my mate, said “Don’t worry. We have one last spot to try and we’ve saved the best for last”. Port Everglades inlet is dredged out to make it deep enough for the big ships to enter and depart. On either side, there is a very steep ledge that goes from 45′ of water, right up to 12′. The upwelling of currrents makes it a home or temporary feeding place to many fish. We tossed out live bonito on a 20lb. spinning rod and pulled t along the “ledge”. Suddenly an explosion on the surface of the water, and the sound of drag screaming off the reel. We never saw the fish, jsut the splash.
Our customer grabbed the rod and began to fight the fish. After 20 minutes of fighting the fish, I looked down and said, “Ya got 2 minutes, Buddy”. Everyone thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. There was a huge tanker ship exiting the port and he was headed right at us. We steered clear and narrowly missed the tanker ship and amazingly kept the fish hooked. An hour later, and after scrambling around 3 different ships, we caught and released a 7 foot lemon shark on 20# test line. A great fishing feat that made memories of a lifetime for our clients from Texas.