Great Fishing on our Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters This Month

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Guys holding a big bull dolphin on our sportfishing charter.

Nice dolphin caught by this lucky angler on our sportfishing charter

There’s some great fishing happening in Fort Lauderdale right now.  A little bit of everything is biting and we’re seeing some pretty nice fish hitting the docks.  The strong East winds are bringing the dolphin in close, right in onto the reef.  We’re catching mahi-mahi in 100-200ft of water, something that happens very rarely, usually only in March and April.  They follow the seaweed lines as they get blown in closer to shore and they linger on the reefs because of the large amount of available food.  A lot of the mahi are pretty big, larger than the average size ones we normally catch.  Dolphin aren’t picky eaters.  They will eat just about anything you are using for bait, you just need the get the baits near to them and they will gobble it up.  Dolphin have voracious appetites this time of year and most of them are above average in size.  We’re getting into the absolute best fishing month of the year to catch dolphin, April.

Nice fish caught on our sportfishing charter.

Nice dolphin fish and mutton snapper caught by these guys on a Fort Lauderdale fishing charter.

Tunas, wahoo, barracuda and sailfish are also biting on the reef and edge of the Gulfstream on our fishing charters.  This time of year, you can catch just about anything in 100-300ft of water.  This water column holds a tremendous amount of baitfish and available food, so the fish congregate in that water column for easy pickings.  Tunas have been biting great for the past few months.  In December, we started catching all the small tunas in the 1-2 pound range.  By late January they were 2-4 pounds.  Now in March, they are already 5-10 pounds in size and still biting really good.  There are a few really big tunas up to 30 pounds mixed in, but most of them are in the 5-10 pound range.  Great sushi if you remember to bring your wasabi.  Wahoo bite good on the full and new moon phases.  They eat best on the big tide swings that these moon phases bring with them and we catch them smack dab on the reefs in only 100ft of water.  Trolling artificial lures and rigged baits works best as you can cover a lot of territory, but slow trolling works really good for them as well.

Nice tunas being held by these beautiful fisher girls.

Nice tunas caught by these fisher gals while trolling the reefs of Ft Lauderdale.

Sailfish and barracuda are the top predators out there right now.  With no natural predators, these fish have free reign out there to hunt without the fear of being hunted in return.  We catch our sailfish by either kite fishing, slow trolling live baits along the reefs or by faster trolling of artificial lures and rigged baits.  Barracudas eat the same stuff.  These top gamefish bite really good whenever we get a strong east wind and you’ll find them among the schools of tuna that pop up out there.  Kite fishing works particularly well for them on these windy days because the baitfish put off such a strong fish-in-distress signal that can be honed in on from a great distance away.  Sharks are also biting out there in big numbers (and big sizes), but I’ll save that for a future report.

Big sailfish being held by family.

Nice sailfish caught by this family on a fishing charter during their vacation in Fort Lauderdale.

And lastly, the wreck fishing is getting stronger by the day.  Big fish are starting to congregate in large numbers around our shipwrecks in 200-400ft of water.  For many years, Fort Lauderdale supported an artificial reef program.  This program brought many old and retired ships out to these depths to be permanently sank to make a structure for fish to congregate around.  The divers and fishermen loved it!  It gave us both an excellent spot to come to find what we were looking for… big fish.  From the months of March through May, a lot of big fish show up around these wrecks with an appetite.  They are ready to eat just about anything you drop near their noses.  Big groupers, amberjacks, cobia, snappers and more are all caught in big numbers around our wrecks this time of year.  This is the only time of year you can show up to a wreck, drop a live bait down and be hooked up to a 40-60 pound big game fish.  I really, really love wreck fishing in the Spring fishing season.

2 guys holding a beast of an amberjack just caught.

Check out this monster amberjack, caught deep dropping over a Ft Lauderdale shipwreck.

Good luck to everyone fishing with us over the next few weeks.  This time of year is about the best time you can come down to fish Fort Lauderdale and although we do have slow days from time to time, the average catches we have this time of year blow away the average catches throughout the rest of the year.  Tight lines everyone and I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Bobby holding a really big grouper just caught.

Big grouper caught on a shipwreck while deep dropping.

Spring is Here. Great Fishing on our Deep Sea Fishing Charters

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Awesome picture of a sailfish jumping behind the boat

A sailfish in all it’s majesty, jumping behind the boat. This is why I love Sportfishing.

The fishing off Fort Lauderdale is awesome this month.  Just about everything is biting.  We’re into our best season of the year for fishing… March, April and May.  These 3 months are far and away the best time of the year to fish offshore of the Fort Lauderdale coast.  Tunas are everywhere, dolphins are showing up, some sailfish are biting, a random wahoo is caught here and there, big fish around the shipwrecks and the shark season is beginning.  This is the time of year us Fort Lauderdale fishermen wait for.

Couple happy anglers with some 20 plus pound dolphins just caught.

Beautiful pic a some nice dolphins caught on our sportfishing charter.

Dolphin.  The dolphin bite is getting good.  Yesterday, we caught a pair of 20+ pounders fishing in just 300ft of water, just outside the reef.  We were kite fishing and both fish came up on the kite and were fighting over the same bait.  We hooked one and pitch baited the other.  The dolphin come in close this time of year to spawn and some of them are really, really big.  A lot of them are 20+ pounders, some of the biggest dolphin we catch all year.  The strong East winds blow them in and get them chewing.  The strong East winds we’re about to get this weekend is going to get them biting like mad.  Dolphin LOVE a strong East wind.  It makes the ocean rough… really rough, but it’s great for fishing.  The general rule out of Fort Lauderdale is the worse the weather, the better the fishing.  I can’t wait to do some dolphin fishing on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, I bet it goes off!

2 guys holding tunas freshly caught on a fishing charter

Couple football sized tunas caught trolling the reef in Fort Lauderdale

Tunas.  Tunas are biting all over the reefs.  They are very numerous and you can catch them very easily.  Just troll some small, streamline baits up and down the reefs and you’re bound to catch them.  You will see the big schools of them pop up on the surface, busting minnows and other small baitfish.  Sometimes the schools are so large, it’s the size of a whole football field.  They spook when you get too close, so it’s best to stay along the edges of the school rather than drive right through them and drive them deep.  You can fish along a school and pick off tunas from it all day long sometimes.  Most of the tunas are smaller, the size of a football, but there is no size limit on them.  Also, there are sometimes a few big tunas mixed into the school as well, as well as larger predator fish following the schools and picking off the slower tunas.

Father and son holding some nice fish caught on a deep sea fishing charter.

Nice catch if wahoo, kingfish and amberjack on a sportfishing charter out of Ft Lauderdale.

Wahoo.  Wahoo can be caught anytime you are trolling the reef in 100+ ft of water.  They always bite when you least expect it.  Wahoo will bite a surface or a deep bait, but most often they prefer the deeper baits on a the planers or on a deep trolling lead bait.  Double hooked ballyhoo work awesome for them, as do the good ole’ trusty spoon.  Dark colored sea witches work well on bright sunny days and bright colored sea witches work well on darker, cloudy days.  I love to troll just in front of an approaching storm for wahoo.  Something about that falling barometer that really gets them turned on.  Also, the moons have a big effect on wahoo.  Not so much the moons as the tides the moon creates.  The full and new moons have the largest tidal changes associated with them and wahoo bite best on the outgoing tide.  The like to pick off the baitfish as they are being carried outside the reef by the changing tides.  It’s a smart predator move to hunt along the outside edge of the reef on the outgoing tide.  Some big wahoos will be caught this month, several big ones were caught already this week.

Happy customers with a big sailfish.

Nice sailfish just caught on our sportfishing charter in Fort Lauderdale.

Sailfish.  Sailfishing season is coming to an end, but last year the bite was pretty good throughout the Spring.  Traditionally, the winter is the best time of year to catch sailfish, but last year we had good sailfishing right into the later parts of May.  Will this year be a repeat of last years good Spring sailfishing?  I think it might.  The sailfish bite has picked up this week with a few days of multiple sailfish caught on a single trip.  I bet we catch a lot of sailfish over the course of the next couple months.  The fishing is changing in Fort Lauderdale and every year is a little different than the last.  Fish are early or sometimes hang late.  The migrations, although they tend to follow the same patterns year after year, sometimes change a little from year to year.  I think the sailfish bite is late this year, like it was last year.  We’ll have to wait to see, but expect to see some nice sailfish pics in the weeks to come.

Big amberjack caught deep dropping on wreck.

Bottom fish.  The wreck fishing goes off this time of year.  There are groupers, amberjacks, cobia, barracuda and sharks hanging around the wrecks.  Why?  Because that’s where the easy meals are.  Wrecks hold baitfish and small game fish.  They congregate around the wrecks because they eat the corals, algae and minnows that grow on these shipwrecks.  Larger predator fish will naturally come to congregate here too because of the food supply.  It’s all about the food.  Shipwrecks provide a start-of-the-food-chain effect and  become an oasis of activity in the Spring months.  Amberjacks really make their presence known this time of year as they are very aggressive.  Sometimes the amberjacks are biting so good around the wrecks that you can hardly get a bait to the bottom.  It gets eaten as you are dropping it down.  Groupers are down there too, if you can get the bait past the amberjacks.  Groupers unfortunately are out of season.  They are awesome to catch but you have to throw them back.  Good stock until May, when the season opens on May 1.  I’m going to be killing me some groupers in May!  Cobia, barracuda and sharks also patrol the wrecks, although in lesser numbers.  You never know what you may hook into when fishing live baits around these shipwrecks.  It’s the best technique for quick action on big fish.

Nice grouper for these happy anglers.

Big grouper caught deep dropping over a shipwreck in Fort Lauderdale.

And that’s why I LOVE fishing Fort Lauderdale in Spring.  Good luck to everyone fishing over the next few weeks.  We’re about to get a strong East wind blowing this weekend which should light up the fishing for us.  I bet there are some big fish caught over the next week, prizes for the anglers who brave the rough seas.  Don’t let the rough waters scare you.  All the best fish are caught when it’s choppy.  Tight Lines and I’ll sea ya on the water!

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Funny pic of 2 guys biting whole dolphin fish.

These guys tried to eat their dolphin before we got in from the trip.

February Action on Wahoo, Tuna and Sailfish

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Rod and Linda holding a wahoo just caught.

Huge wahoo caught on a sportfishing charter. Great catch Linda!

February is here and that means the wahoo bite is on.  February is a top month for wahoo fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  We catch wahoo in one of 2 ways, either by trolling or dragging live baits around.  Trolling is the best technique.  First off, wahoos love a fast moving bait and trolling allows us to pull lures around at a good clip.  It also allows us to cover a lot of ground with the baits.  Wahoo love deep running lures.  We always pull a few baits around on planers, which pull the baits deep, down to the lower water columns.  When the planer bait goes down hard and starts taking drag super fast, we know it’s a wahoo.  A lot of wahoos get off the line, either by cutting through the monofilament or wire leader with their razor sharp teeth, or by shaking the hooks next to the boat.  Wahoo are masters at shaking the hooks right next to the boat.  Throughout the fight, the wear a larger and larger hole in their mouth where the hooks are.  When they get close to the boat, they shake their head from side to side vigorously.  If even a tiny amount of slack occurs between the rod tip and the hook set, the hooks can easily shake out.  Wahoo are the Houdini of getting loose right next to the boat.  Needless to say, wahoo are a true gamefish in both size, speed, strength and the sheer challenge it is to catch them.

Guy holding a wahoo with the sunset in the background.

Another huge wahoo caught by this lucky angler trolling in Fort Lauderdale.

February is tuna month.  Tunas congregate on the reefs in February is big numbers.  They school up in humongous schools, sometimes the size of a football field.  When they are feeding on a school of baitfish, they emerge on the top of the water and ‘bust’ the schooled up baits on the surface.  These busting tunas corral up a bunch of baitfish into a huge school and drive them up to the surface.  From there, it’s a feeding frenzy where they eat the corralled up baitfish until there isn’t a single one left.  It’s a dog eat dog world in the ocean.  We can see these tunas from a long way off on a calm day.  The ocean looks smooth and flat except for a football field size commotion where the tunas are busting.  You can see it a mile away.  When we see these tunas, we like to troll the outskirts of the school in circles.  Tunas shy off as the boat encroaches on them, so its best to get close but not drive right over the school, which will drive them down.  We usually catch them on small, light surface baits like dusters or small natural feathers.  This time of year, blackfin tunas are our main catch.  Once in a blue moon, we’ll catch a yellowfin. Yellowfin are extremely rare in Ft Lauderdale.  Blackfin tunas can reach sizes of 40 pounds although most of them are 5-8 pounders, the size of a football.  This is a great month to catch lots of blackfin tunas so bring the wasabi!

Brett holding an iridescent colored yellowfin tuna.

Capt Brett with a rare yellowfin tuna caught on our sportfishing charter.

Sailfish is the other main attraction here in Fort Lauderdale this month.  This is the last good month of sailfishing in south Florida  until next Fall.  While sailfish are here year round and can always be caught, the concentrated numbers of them bite best in the Fall and Winter months.  March is generally when sailfishing starts slowing down.  But February is a GREAT month to catch sailfish, in fact, it’s one of the best months of the year.  The cooler temperatures of February get the sailfish really lit up and aggressive.  The stronger easterly winds of February also help the sailfish action and allows us to do a lot more kite fishing.  Kite fishing allows us to go out and present live baits right on the surface of the water and keep them right on the current edge.  This is a very effective technique to catch sailfish and although they are never guaranteed, you won’t find better conditions for sailfishing any month of the year.  Sailfish are the most sought after gamefish in the entire world and anglers come from all around the world to catch these magnificent billfish.  The most awesome thing about sailfish other than their colors and beauty, is the spectacular aerial display they put on during their fight.  They jump out of the water like no other fish and take sudden fast runs throughout the battle.  If you’ve never caught a sailfish before, it’s a rush like no other.

Sailfish being held by a fishing family.

Big sailfish caught on our sport fishing charter.

Many other species bite well in February but these top… wahoo, tuna and sailfish are what makes February famous for one of the best months of the year to go fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  Some of the other fish that are possible this month are amberjacks and groupers around the wrecks, mahi-mahi are sometimes biting, kingfish and barracudas on the reef and lastly, huge sharks begin making their run down out coastline this month.  The shark migration that begins in February and end in late June is truly epic, but is the topic for future fishing report.  Good luck to everyone fishing this month.  Tight Lines and Let’s Go Fishing!

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

Mick holding a wahoo all lit up and iridescent.

Mick holding a humongous wahoo caught on our sportfishing charter in Fort Lauderdale


Very rare white marlin caught on our sportfish charter. Photo by Shazana Amanda Hardy.

Huge white marlin, EXTREMELY RARE, caught on our sportfishing charter (Photo by Shazana Amanda Hardy)