Category Archives: Swordfishing Charter Reports

Fort Lauderdale Deep Sea Fishing

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report, Swordfishing Charter Reports | No Comments

 

3 guys kneeling next to their mixed bag of fish they came back in with on a charter

Nice mixed bag of fish caught on a half day sportfishing charter

The reef action lights up this month with lots of bonitos, kingfish, barracuda and blackfin tunas biting.  We’re catching them trolling, the best technique of sportfishing during the summer months.  Trolling is a technique of dragging lures and rigged baits, up and down the reefs and along the edge of the Gulfstream to try to catch whatever we come across.  Its the best technique in the summer months because the fish are all scattered over the reefs and moving around, so it takes some traveling and looking around for them to find ’em.   Action in the summer is great.  While you are trolling, you will periodically hit little flurries of action on bonitos, kingfish, blackfin tunas.  Sometimes a big barracuda, wahoo or even sailfish jumps on the line.  You never know what you might catch when you are trolling.

Teenager holding a blackfin tuna on the gaff freshly brought out of the water.

Nice blackfin tuna just gaffed and brought into the boat on our deep sea fishing charter.

Drift fishing is awesome in the summers months.  On our day trips, we’re drifting over the reefs so you can bottom fish with a chicken rig or fish for muttons with a longer leader.  On the day trips you can also float a kingfish line out there in hopes of a big kingfish bite.  You never know what you’ll catch drift fishing in the summertime.  June is a month for mutton snappers, big mangroves, kingfish and red groupers.  Night fishing is just as good.  Snappers are biting really good.  June is the mangrove snapper spawn.  They bite really good at night, sometime off-the-scale-good.  Mangroves usually have a few nights in the summer when they snap!  They do their annual spawning along the reefs, and then throw caution to the wind and eat everything they come across.  It’s a great snapper fishing event and we have some epic snapper catches this month on our night anchor fishing trips.

Kyle holding a big mutton snapper next to the lady angler who caught it, aboard the Catch My Drift.

Nice mutton snapper caught on our deep sea drift fishing trip by this fisher gal.

Wreck fishing is quite good in the early part of the summer.  The amberjacks from the Spring months were late this year and are still biting strong on most of the wrecks over 200ft of water.  Almaco jacks too are biting very good.  Groupers are a bit more elusive but they are there if you fish for them.  I like to fish a bit deeper for grouper 300+ feet of water for the snowy groupers.  We’re catching them on some of the deep wrecks and on an all day private charter, we can load up on the snowys going from wreck to wreck until we find them biting.  Vermillion snappers are biting too, but with all the action on the reefs, we haven’t been fishing for them much.

3 guys at sea in a boat holding up a big grouper, amberjack and some tilefish.

Nice catch of bottom fish on this deep dropping sportfishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale

Offshore fishing in Fort Lauderdale is more hit or miss.  Outside of 350ft of water, the continental shelf starts to really slope off.  It gets deep very quickly.  2 miles offshore, you are in over 600 feet of water.  Out there in these depths, there are only 2 main targets:  mahi-mahi dolphin and swordfish.  Both require really long trips to target because of the time requirement.  For dolphin, you need to cover some ground out there, the more nautical miles the better.  Every mile of territory you troll over increases your chances of finding dolphin.  Some days you find them in the first 15 minutes.  Much more often, it will be hours and hours before you find your first fish.  The good thing about dolphin is that they are gregarious.  If you find one, you are likely to find a whole school of them out there, sometimes enough to load your entire fish box in shot.  My dad always described dolphin fishing as, “hours and hours of boredom, interrupted by a moment of panic”.  It is really exciting when you do find the dolphin out there and your effort that you did to find them pays off.

Father and son with a boatload of mahi-mahi caught on our sportfishing charter.

Great catch of mahi-mahi on our sportfishing charter on Father’s Day weekend.

Swordfish requires it’s own trip.  You have to go even further offshore, about 15 miles offshore to get to swordfishing territory.  There are 2 ways to fish swordfish.  You can daytime deep drop for them or you can night drift for them.  Night drift is nice because you can use hand crank rods and put 4-5 lines out as you are fishing near the surface.  Daytime deep dropping only allows you to fish one line at a time and it must be an electric reel because of the extreme depths out there.  Check out our YouTube channel (and subscribe!) to see the cool swordfish video I just posted.  Swordfish are truly epic fish, both a world class trophy gamefish and a great eating fish as well.  And they get to be very large.  If you are interested in a swordfish charter, the summer months are excellent for swordfishing.

It should continue to be some great fishing this month for both our drift fishing and our sportfishing charters.  There’s lots of action to be had, you just have to go out and wet a line.  Good luck to everyone fishing with us.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

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

 

Looking down into the fish box, filled with mutton snappers, yellowtail snappers, red grouper, mangrove snappers and grunts.

Nice pile of fish in the fish box during our Ft Lauderdale drift fishing trip.

2 guys on a boat in the ocean holding about a 12 pound blackfin tuna they just caught.

Nice tuna caught on our sportfishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

A couple guys holding their catch of a blackfin tuna and 2 nice kingfish, on a boat while out in the ocean.

A nice tuna and a couple kingfish caught on our sportfishing charter.

Kyle holding a mutton snapper next to the kid that caught him aboard the Mary B III drift fishing boat.

Nice mutton snapper caught by this fisher kid on a drift fishing trip out of Fort Lauderdale.

Great Action on All Our Different Fishing Trips this Week

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report, Swordfishing Charter Reports | No Comments
Nice kingfish just caught aboard the Catch My Drift with Capt Tito

Nice kingfish caught drift fishing on the Ft Lauderdale reef.

The fishing in Fort Lauderdale has been excellent this week.  Lots of kingfish and bonitos are still biting on the reefs.  Action on the wrecks has been consistent with a good amount of snappers and sometimes a grouper.  Offshore action has been spotty.  There are some dolphin out but you have to find them which require a lot of trolling miles.  There’s been much better and more consistent action trolling the reefs and edge of the Gulfstream.  Sailfish starting biting early last week and wow!!!  what a week of sailfishing.  This is just the beginning of sailfish season and it looks like this year will be a tremendous year for them.  We catch different varieties of fish on our different trips, so this is a breakdown of what we are catching on the various deep sea fishing trips that we run:

Nice mutton will pretty colors just caught

Nice mutton snapper caught by this angler on our deep sea fishing trip

Drift Fishing Trips  8:30am & 1:30pm
Our drift fishing trips are doing well catching kingfish, bonitos and snappers.  Bonitos seem to be hanging in longer this year than in years past.  They are usually long gone by now, but there are still big numbers of bonitos on the reefs.  Kingfish are mixed in with them. We’re catching the kingfish by either flat line fishing a ballyhoo/sardine or by jigging a whip jig off the bow of the boat.  These techniques are also the best way to catch bonito and blackfin tuna.  Snappers fishing is also going good.  We’re getting some really big mutton snappers here and there on the afternoon trips.  Decent numbers of yellowtail snappers are biting as well as the full array of grunts, porgies, triggers, jacks and other good eating bottom fish.

Group of people holding their catch of bonitos and kingfish at the dock after their trip.

Nice catch of bonitos and kingfish on our deep sea fishing charter.

Night Anchor Trips 7:30pm
Night anchor trips are catching the highest numbers of fish out of the 3 trips aboard our party fishing boat.  Our night anchor trip concentrates on fishing for snappers on the bottom.  Lots of yellowtails are biting at night.  Mangrove snappers are biting pretty good too.  Usually on the full moon of September, the mangroves will spawn and bite extra good.  Tomorrow night is the full moon, so we’ll see.  A select few muttons are also biting and they’ve been big!  The muttons we’re catching this week have averaged 6-12 pounds, which is a bit larger than our average muttons usually are.  Sharks are also biting on some nights on our anchor trip.  We catch a lot of Atlantic sharpnose sharks, Cuban night sharks, blacktips and nurse.  These sharks aren’t the monster gamesharks that we catch on our sportfishing charters, but rather 3-4 ft in length and perfect for a good fight on 30 pound test.  Our night anchor trips are catching the most fish by numbers of any of our daily $40 trips.

Guy holding a nice mutton just caught night anchor fishing in Ft Lauderdale

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

Sportfishing Shared and Private Charters
Our sportfishing charters are our best all around trip and they are coming in with the most impressive catches lately.  Trolling the reefs is working excellent for kingfish, blackfin tuna, bonito, barracuda and sometimes even a wahoo.  The action on the troll has made it difficult for us to switch over and do anything different.  First rule of fishing is never to leave fish to find fish.  But once we’ve caught our limit of kingfish, we often switch over just for the heck of it to try some live baiting.  This past week, sailfishing has been off-the-scale!  September is the beginning of sailfish season here in Ft Lauderdale.  This is the time of year all the big game fishermen come down to try their luck at catching the most sought after gamefish in the ocean… Sailfish.  This sailfish season started off this past week with a bang.  We had 3 days when the sailfish were jumping in the boat.  One day we caught 6, one day 8 and 4 the next.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  It tailed off a bit over the past couple days but that’s how sailfishing is… it runs in spurts.  We get a huge influx of sailfish for a couple days and they bite like crazy, and then they disappear for a few days.  We’re only a few days into sailfish season but this sailfish season looks like it is going to be epic!

Nice sailfish just caught.

Nice sailfish caught by this fisher gal on our sportfishing charter in Ft Lauderdale.

All Day Shared Sportfishing Charters
Our All Day trip is just like our regular shared sportfishing charters except that we stay out and fish for a full 8 hour day.  We catch the same stuff, just more!  One great thing about the all day trip is that with so much fishing time available to us, we can try a few different things on the trip to catch more of a variety.  It also gives us the available time to try our luck offshore if we hear there are any mahi-mahi dolphin biting.  We also have been doing some deep dropping on our 8 hour trips and catching some cool deepwater fish such as grey tilefish, golden tilefish, barrelfish, scorpion groupers and more.  With 8 hours, we have time to catch a bunch of fish trolling the reef, switch up and try for a sailfish by live baiting with the kites and hit the wrecks for some deep bottom fish.  More fishing = better.

Nice catch by these 2 on our All Day fishing trip

Nice catch of groupers, jacks and snappers on an All Day fishing trip.

Tarpon Fishing Trips
Our inshore trips have picked up a few nice tarpon this week.  We’re fishing the protected waters around the bridges and docks that line the Intracoastal Waterway.  Right now, tarpon and jack crevale are biting pretty good, along with an oddball barracuda or snook.  Tarpon can be caught day or night, but the bite is usually best for them on our night runs.  Sharks are sometimes caught on this trip at night too.  With the mullet run beginning over the next few weeks, we will have a serious influx of tarpon into our waters.  Tarpon, jack crevale, snook, barracuda, sharks and permit follow the mullet run down the coast.  This is the best time of year to go out with some light tackle and fish for these shallow water gamefish.

IMG_1648General Fishing
The fishing is good in September.  Temperatures will finally start to cool down towards the end of the month, so this is a transition month between the Summer and Fall fishing seasons.  With the mullet run coming down the coastline and sailfish season beginning, we’re catching some of our biggest fish of the year this month.  No matter which trip you choose, the potential is there for great catches.  Good luck to everyone fishing with us this week.  I’ll sea ya on the water,

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

Nice catch by these lucky anglers.

Nice catch of dolphin and wahoo on the troll, off Ft Lauderdale beach.

500 Pound Swordfish Caught Daytime Swordfishing in Fort Lauderdale

By | Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report, Swordfishing Charter Reports | No Comments
500 pound swordfish caught on our daytime swordfishing trip

Monster swordfish caught on a daytime swordfishing charter in Fort Lauderdale with Fishing Headquarters.

There are some monster fish biting off the Fort Lauderdale coast this week.  Sailfish and sharks have been active, lots of action on the reef and there are some pretty large fish biting around the shipwrecks.  That’s not all though.  Today we had a daytime swordfishing charter and ended up catching an estimated 500 pound swordfish, one of the biggest we’ve ever caught off our dock.  It was an incredibly exciting and equally exhausting catch.  Fishing trips like this don’t happen every day.

Hauling the swordfish into the boat.

Hauling the monster swordfish into the boat.

We had a swordfishing trip today, a daytime trip, which meant fishing with electric reels down on the bottom out in 1500 ft of water.  Up until a few years ago, we would only go swordfishing at night.  Swordfish are nocturnal feeders.  During the day, they stay down on the bottom at average depths of 1500ft deep.  At night, swordfish rise to within a few hundred feet of the surface to actively feed and look for food.  It only made sense to us to only go out to fish for them at night.  We never fished for them during the day because we didn’t think they would bite. In the past few years, we’ve found out how wrong we were.  Swordfish feed during the daytime too, they just stay down deep in the cooler waters during the daylight hours.

Happy crew with their monster catch!

Capt. Rod and Mick with their monster catch!

On our daytime swordfishing charters, we usually troll out to the fishing grounds which are about 20 miles offshore.  This is through prime mahi-mahi territory.  Mahi-mahi are actually more of a high-percentage catch for us on swordfishing charters than swordfish are.  On the troll offshore, you can hit mahi-mahi, blackfin tuna, barracuda, wahoo and even the rare and elusive blue marlin.  Today though, we didn’t get a single bite on the way out to swordfishing grounds.

pulling the swordfish up onto the dock

Swordfish being pulled up onto the dock

We made 4 drops before we finally hooked the fish.  Each drop is pretty time consuming.  At those depths, it takes 10-15 minutes just to drop your bait all the way to the bottom.  With the Gulfstream current, its hard to keep the bait on the bottom without letting it drift up higher.  The scope of the line and the current are constantly pulling it.  Anyway, on a single swordfish drop, you get about 15-20 minutes of bottom time with the bait in the zone.  After that, it has drifted up too high so we reel it in and start again.  It takes 15-20 minutes for the electric reel to wind in all that line, without a fish on it.

Mick posing with the swordfish on the dock

Big swordfish on the dock after a daytime swordfishing charter.

On the 4th drop, we finally got a hookup and it was BIG.  The fish smoked drag off the reef for the longest time.  We must have had almost a mile of line off the reel.  We slowly gained it back in, inch by inch.  After two hours, we finally got sight of the fish and could see how big it was.  The last hundred feet of line took the longest and the fish appeared bigger and bigger and we brought him up closer to the surface.  When we had the fish about 20 feet away, Mick, the first mate on the trip, threw the harpoon which impaled the fish through it’s shoulder.  The fish was caught!

Hauling the fish into the boat was more than a small task.  It took everyone aboard to get this fish into the boat.  High fives all around!  There was no beating the catch we just got so we throttled up and ran the 20 miles back to Fort Lauderdale to take pictures with the fish.  We used a block and tackle to lift the fish onto the dock.  We took pictures with the fish over the course of the next hour and half.  After the photos were done, we cut the fish up and gave the meat away to friends and customers, feeding over a hundred different people.  Catches of swordfish this size don’t happen often.

The big fish are biting off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.  Swordfish, sharks, sailfish, marlin, barracuda and amberjacks are all big game fish that are in season now and lurking off our coast.  Let’s go fishing.