Nice Swordfish Caught on a Daytime Swordfishing Charter

By | Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report, Swordfishing Charter Reports | No Comments
Kaylee holding a swordfish that she just caught on our daytime swordfishing charter

Nice swordfish caught on our daytime swordfishing trip.

We had a great swordfishing trip the other day here at Fishing Headquarters, I just had to write a report about it.  We took out Kaylee and her dad Michael out for a daytime swordfishing charter.  Kaylee had fished with us a few weeks earlier and caught her first swordfish, but she wanted to take her dad out in hopes of catching one with him.  So we picked a nice weather day and booked a daytime swordfish charter.  We like to get out early on a daytime swordfishing trip this time of year because it gets dark early.  We like to troll on the way out and the way in on a daytime trip, since we are traveling right through prime mahi-mahi territory and the trolling is good in the daylight hours.  So we left the dock at 7am and as soon as we hit 100ft of water, we threw out the mahi-mahi lures.  We always fish a couple baits that a big marlin would pile on, just in case we drive over one of these elusive gamefish.  You never know what’s going to happen on these deep sea fishing trips.  On the way out, we hit a few skipjack tunas and we got a small mahi.  Not much to speak of, but you can’t catch them without putting in the time.

Kaylee and her dad holding a huge swordfish just caught off Fort Lauderdale

Kaylee and her dad Michael with a big swordfish just boated.

So we get out the grounds and we start doing our drops.  First drop, fish on almost instantly, but we pull the hooks after the first minute.  Second drop, no bites.  Third drop was the charm.  We hooked into a nice one.  By the way it was fighting, we knew it was a keeper.  We loaded the harpoon and waited for the fish to get into range as we reeled him up.  Soon as the fish got into harpooning distance, we launched the harpoon.  Mick, the harpooner, hit him on the first throw… a deep shot to the sweet spot just below his dorsal fin.  We got the fish close enough for a gaff shot and Michael (the angler) got the first gaff stuck perfectly in the gills.  Kaylee readied the second gaff and once we stuck the second gaff in, we had him.  There was no escaping for this magnificent swordfish. We yoked him over the gunnel and everyone screamed with exuberance.   There’s no thrill quite like getting a big swordfish into the boat.

The day was late and instead of trying for another bite, we decided to end the day on a high note.  We pulled in our lines and ran the boat home to get our much deserved photo shoot at the dock.  It was a helluva day at sea and it was a lot of fun.  If you want to see the awesome video of the fish right next to the boat, check out the awesome video we posted on our Youtube channel.  We got some good footage of this one.  And I am getting more and more video of our fishing trips these days, so please give us a subscribe on our Fishing Headquarters Youtube channel so that we can grow it.  The more subscriptions I have, the more fishing videos I will post.  Thank you to everyone who fished with us.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse




Great White Shark Catch on our Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charter

By | Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
great white shark on the leader next to the boat

Great White Shark next to the boat on our Fort Lauderdale fishing charter

It started out as a slow day. We were 2 hours into the trip and not a fish over 2 pounds. We caught some small bonitos and blackfin tunas earlier in the day trolling the reef, but no action was there to be had. So we switched tactics and put out a nice shark fishing spread. The big rods were deployed, 130 Penn Internationals, a reel that can handle anything. These are the reels we use for when we go shark fishing, just in case a sea monster jumps on the line. You want to have gear that can handle anything that might bite. We were glad we did.

We had two bottom baits set. The first was an 8 pound blackfin tuna we caught a day earlier. The captain wanted to take it for dinner that night but opted to save it in case bait was hard to come by the next day. Fishing had been a little tough lately with some days being very difficult to catch baits. Fishing begins with bait, remember that. So we were glad to have the blackfin and we rigged it promptly with some big hooks, heavy wire and sent it down to the depths to approximately 350ft deep. Our other bait was a fresh bonito, a bloody fish that works well as bait for almost any predatory big game fish.

Sitting there for almost an hour without so much as a nibble, we were starting to regret our decision. I guess today isn’t the day. Captain Pauly was considering switching tactics one last time to shipwreck fishing to try to catch the customers something. We hadn’t much time left in our trip, we were only out for a half day. Suddenly, without notice or a hint of foreshadowing, the deep bait rod on the left tweaked over and began screaming drag off the reel.

“Fish On!” the captain shouted as he put the boat into forward to help drive the steel hooks into the fishes jaw on the strike. This isn’t the kind of rod you can lift up and yank back on to set the hook. After a minute of driving forward, we were confident the hook was set well enough and we moved the rod over to the fighting chair. The angler was strapped in and the fight began.

We could tell right away that this wasn’t an average shark. We shark fish every day and while every shark is strong and fights hard, this fish had ‘weight behind it’ and wasn’t showing any signs of fatigue after pulling so much drag. A good captain knows, on a big fish, to pull the fish ‘with’ the current. Swimming into the current, a fish can just shoulder down and use his big pectoral fins to plane down, exerting little to no energy. Pull the fish ‘with’ the current and you force the fish to change depths, swim to the flank and even surface, just to keep the water flowing over his gills so that he can breathe. This tires the fish out with efficiency so you don’t exhaust your angler before the fish.

Well this fish was savvy to that tactic and it had the stamina of a horse. We had to change out anglers 5 times during the fight as each angler was drained after 10-20 minutes of battle. At one point during the fight, the fish flew up to the surface and breached. That’s very rare for a shark to breach the surface and leap into the air. Most sharks try to stay deep during the fight. When the shark breached we could kind of see the shape. The captain and mate looked at eachother, speechless, afraid to predict what they thought they saw. In the back of their minds though, they knew…. it was a Great White Shark.

Great whites are extremely, extremely rare. Out of the 60 or 70 fishing charter boats that operate out of Fort Lauderdale and shark fish every day, I can think of only 2 boats that have caught one (one of them is now us).

After an hour plus long fight, we finally had the fish close to the boat. When the fishes head popped up over the whitewater and we could clearly see the shape and face of the fish, our suspicions were confirmed. We had just landed a Great White Shark. Howls and shrieks of jubilation all around. This was a once-in-a-lifetime catch and everyone knew it. Of course the cameras came out at that point and we all snapped 1,000 photos per second.

The mate held the fish on the leader near to the boat and the captain ran down and put a tag into the fish. This is a research tag so that if the fish is ever caught again, we can see how far it has traveled and how much it has grown in that time span. Everyone waved goodbye and the mate cut the wire leader, leaving only one hook in the fishes upper lip. The hook will be a nice piece of jewelry for the shark for the next few months until it rusts or falls out.

Everyone aboard had a hand in catching this giant. From the captain, to the mate, to each angler on the trip, everyone helped land this bad boy. This was a catch of a lifetime for our boat, a catch that may never be matched. A catch that we will remember forever.

Thank you to everyone who fished with us. Good luck to everyone fishing in these coming weeks. There are some sea monsters biting on our Fort Lauderdale fishing charters this week. Let’s go fishing!

Capt. Andy Roydhouse



Fort Lauderdale Fishing Report

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Mahi-mahi dolphin being held on the gaff, girl kissing captain holding it

Nice dolphin caught on our Ft Lauderdale fishing charter.

The fishing this month continues to be great on our Fort Lauderdale fishing charters.  Action on mahi-mahi perked up a bit after a long dry spell.  Mahi-mahi are a great eating fish that school up, so when you find them, you can catch a bunch of them.  They are usually found way offshore, isolated into small pockets of fish in an otherwise barren zone, so it takes a long time of trolling around looking for them to catch them.  But this week, they have come in closer, on the inside edge of the Gulfstream current where we are normally fishing anyway for just about every other fish in the ocean.  It’s great when we are catching tunas, kingfish and wahoo and then bammo!  We hit a school of mahi-mahi.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Capt Bobby holding a 50 pound wahoo in the boat with the happy angler who caught it. Beautiful sky in the background amidst a choppy ocean.

Nice wahoo caught by this lucky angler. What a catch!

Wahoo are another fish that is hitting the docks this month.  These are the fastest fish in the ocean and when they hit, the are known for ‘smoking’ the line off the reel for the first minute or two on the hook.  You almost always know it’s a wahoo when it hits, just by the sheer force that they take their initial run.  We catch them especially good around both the New and Full moons.  This is because this is when the tides have their strongest flows.  When the tide flows in or out over the reef, it carries with it a lot of baitfish in a vulnerable way, making easy pickings for wahoo to grab a quick meal.  October, November and December are all great months for fishing wahoo on the moon.

Bobby and couple on vacation posing with their huge kingfish, just caught offshore Ft Lauderdale beach

Huge kingfish caught by this lucky couple on a deep sea fishing charter.

Giant kingfish are also being caught on our drift fishing and sportfishing charters.  Average size for kingfish (usually 5-10 pounds) is increasing daily this time of year.  I would say the average size kings are now 8-15 pounders and of course, a few of the humongous smoker kingfish are being caught even now and then too.  A few days ago, we caught this 65 pound kingfish while live bait fishing the Fort Lauderdale reef.  It’s great to see these giant fish moving through our waters.  The mullet run, which just ended brought a lot of these big fish through as well.  It’s the circle of life out here and every time of year offers different species, possibilities and advantages.

Ryan holding a pair of mutton snappers up while aboard the Catch My Drift with the Bahia Mar marina and yachts in the background

Ryan with a nice pair of mutton snappers caught aboard the Catch My Drift.

Drift fishing on our day and night fishing trips are producing great catches of snappers.  Mangrove and mutton snappers are the main catches on our daytime trips and then the yellowtails come out at night.  The yellowtails are snapping at night, and they are big.  Once we get into December and January, the size of the yellowtails goes way down, but they are still big for a couple more months.  Yellowtails are really easy to catch, you just have to give it some time for the chum to start working.  It can take almost an hour for the fish to find you through the chum slick you put out, but once they do, it’s like fishing in a barrel. Daytime is different, where we drift over an area and cover a lot of ground.  This is the ideal way to get mutton snappers on a streamline ballyhoo bait rigged on a long leader.  Mutton snappers are our bigger snappers and they are biting really good on our morning and afternoon drift fishing trips.

Our fish box, full of snappers, grunts, porgies, yellowtail and muttons all piled high.

Nice catch of snappers and other reef fish on our night anchor trip aboard the Catch My Drift.

Our drift boat is also catching good amounts of porgies, groupers, grunts, jacks, and triggerfish.  We catch these fish on almost every trip, mixed in with our main targets which are all the snapper species (mangrove, mutton, yellowtail, lane, mahogany, blackfin, yelloweye, silver and vermillion snappers).  Variety is the ‘spice of life’ and you get that in spades on our party boat fishing trips.

Adolescent boy holding a nice snook he just caught aboard the boat just around sunset on an inshore fishing charter with Port Everglades in the background.

Nice snook caught by this young fisherman on our inshore fishing charter.

Inshore fishing is getting better and better every week this time of year as well.  Snook are biting especially good, especially in the late afternoons and into the evenings.  Tarpon, a light tackle, inshore gamefish, are biting decently right now.  A few were caught this week.  They are always elusive fish because they have such a bony mouth, which makes it hard to get a good hook-set.  And they jump with such strength, shaking their heads side to side violently, to shake the hooks, it makes for a very challenging fish to successfully land.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!  I love tarpon fishing charters just because they are such a challenge to get to the boat.  Jack crevales, sharks, snapper and grouper bite on our inshore fishing charters too, depending on the night and our fishing technique on that particular trip.

Ryan holding a big mutton snapper he just caught fishing aboard the Catch My Drift with a beautiful ocean and sky in the background.

Ryan caught this big mutton snapper on a party boat fishing trip aboard the Catch My Drift

Good action all around for most of our Ft Lauderdale fishing trips this time of year.  We have our slow trips too from time to time, but the majority of trips are pretty good catches with some banner, epic days mixed in as well.  You can’t go wrong fishing south Florida this time of year.  The variety is good, action is good, chances at greatness are good and any day you get to go fishing is a good day.  Good luck to everyone fishing this month.  Tight lines and I’ll sea ya on the water!

Capt. Andy Roydhouse