Category Archives: Offshore Reports

Fort Lauderdale Dolphin Fishing Charters

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Dan, Pat and Alex holding an approx 50 pound bull dolphin just caught on a deep sea fishing trip.

Huge bull dolphin caught by Dan and Pat Okee on their Ft Lauderdale fishing charter.

WOW!  It’s been an awesome month of mahi-mahi fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  Our dolphin fishing charters have been perhaps the best I have seen in over a decade.  The strong East winds blowing for many days concurrently is most likely the reason for the extraordinary dolphin fishing we’ve been experiencing.  When the winds blow from the East for more than a few days in a row, the dolphin get blown in closer and closer to the reefs.  This puts them right in our path for our trolling trips to pass right over them and entice the bite.  But this year was a little bit different.  We’ve not only caught more dolphin but also bigger dolphin than we normally do.  I attribute this to conservation efforts making some headway on the fish populations off our coast.  We’ve seen the same thing with groupers over the past couple of years.  More and bigger fish than we’ve caught in the past years are biting.  It’s a great indicator for our fishing charters for future years ahead.

Alex, at the dock, holding another huge mahi-mahi caught on our fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

Alex with another huge mahi-mahi caught on our fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

Dolphin are normally a gregarious fish.  They travel in schools of sometimes a dozen, sometimes a hundred fish.  One of the best tricks to catching dolphin in a school is to always leave one in the water.  If you do, the rest of the school will stick around and stay nearby the dolphin still in the water (even though he is hooked on the line).  This is an awesome tactic because it allows you to take your time and catch literally as many dolphin as you want to, picking them off one at a time.  Well, the dolphin this year bit differently.  They were not congregated into schools but rather loners, swimming solo for the most part.  It was kind of odd this year to find them acting like that.  The good thing about that is they were scattered all over the place and much more abundant.  Rather than looking all over the ocean for that one school and loading up on them in one quick slam, we’ve been picking them up throughout the trip, fish action distributed more evenly throughout the trip.  I love how they are biting this year.

3 folks at the dock, holding up a nice bull dolphin they just caught on their fishing charter.

Nice bull dolphin caught by this fisher gal on our deep sea fishing charter.

As in years past, the dolphin are mostly 6-12 pounders with the occasional fish over 20 pounds.  We recently had a charter that went out and caught several sea monster dolphin over 45 pounds.  That’s a monster dolphin.  Lots of scattered skipjack and blackfin tunas are biting alongside the dolphin catches as well as a rare wahoo that might hit the deep line.  Great action on the pelagic fish this month. Sailfish, a species that is usually biting great for us by this time of the year, have not shown up in great numbers as of yet.  This is kind of late for them to not be practically jumping in the boat for us, but they showed up rather late last year too.  Fish run in cycles and whether it be El Nino or La Nina or any of the other countless variables that affect the fishing, patterns usually emerge that last 2-3 years and then change.

Couple happy anglers posing with a sailfish they just caught, Capt Bobby with thumbs up behind everyone.

Nice sailfish caught by these happy anglers on our deep sea fishing charter trip.

The cooler winds are coming soon.  I think there is a cold front due to hit us this weekend.  When the weather cools down a little bit more, the dolphin will bite less and less and the sailfish will bite more and more.  I’m looking forward to some good sailfish action this year on my fishing charters.  Kite fishing is a lot of fun and although not the best technique to get action on the line, it is a great way to catch the very best and biggest gamefish that we have off our coast.  I’ll be spending a lot of my time in the coming 2 months with the kites up, 4 goggle eyes dangling on the surface of the water, waiting for that sailfish to stick his hairdo up there and take the bait.  Good luck to everyone fishing this month.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Guy kneeling down at the dock holding a dolphin with several other dolphin and kingfish laying next to him on the dock.

Nice catch of dolphins and kingfish by this lucky angler on our sportfishing charter.

Dan, Pat and Alex holding a pair of big dolphin fish just caught, one of the dolphin over 45 pounds.

Dan and Pat Okee again with the huge bull dolphin as well as the cow that was following close behind.

Nice dolphin being held at the dock by a happy angler with his coworkers behind him posing for a picture.

Nice dolphin caught by this group on an end of the year company party trip aboard the Mary B III.

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

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

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

Nice dolphin being held up on the gaff.

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