Great Snapper Fishing This Month in Fort Lauderdale

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Nice pile of snappers on the cutting table after the trip.

Nice catch of vermillion snappers caught on our drift fishing trip out of Fort Lauderdale.

I haven’t done a fishing report in a while, but with the fishing as good as it is, I feel a fishing report is warranted.  Our snapper fishing off Fort Lauderdale over the past few weeks has been nothing short of amazing.  While the snapper fishing over the summer months was not as productive as in years past, the snapper fishing this year during October is well above expectations.  On our daytime drift fishing trips, we’re catching lots and lots of vermillion snappers, yelloweyes and some big mutton snappers mixed in.  This is in addition to the regular catches of porgies, groupers, grunts, jacks and all the bottom fish species.  An odd kingfish, tuna or cobia is also being caught on our daytime drift trips.  Being off-season here in Ft Lauderdale, with everyone going back to school and getting into the swing of work/school stuff, we haven’t had the huge numbers of people on the trips as we normally do in the spring and summer months.  This is a great thing for the drift boat trips because it gives you a lot more room to fish as well as a higher ratio of more fish per person aboard.  This is a great season to come out and try some drift fishing.  You’re almost guaranteed to get some nice snappers to bring home.

Nice vermillion snapper behind held up at the dock by the lucky angler who caught them.

Nice vermillion and yelloweye snapper caught by Andy on our drift fishing trip.

Night fishing is just plain ole’ awesome this month.  Snappers, snappers and more snappers are the catch on our night trips.  The snapper species we target at night are the yellowtail snapper and the mangrove snappers.  We do get a few of the bigger mutton snappers as well.  But the sheer numbers of the yellowtail and mangroves that we’re catching at night is just incredible.  This year has been better snapper fishing than I have seen in quite a few years.  I love to see the bite so good because we have slow fishing sometimes in Fort Lauderdale, where it’s tough to catch anything.  Fortunately for us, the bite has been really strong, so almost every trip is a good catch.  We’re having nights where 3 deckhands have to clean fish for over an hour after the trip because we caught so many.  Night anchor trips are also yielding a some sharks, cobia, bluefish and barracuda too.

Nice pile of yellowtail snappers on the dock after a night trip aboard the Catch My Drift.

Big pile of yellowtail snappers after a night anchor trip aboard the Catch My Drift this week.

Sportfishing boats are getting their fair share of fish out there.  Some good catches of mahi-mahi (a few really big ones), wahoo, tuna, kingfish and some of the big game fish around the wrecks.  It’s a mixed bag for the sportfishing boats this time of year, they can catch just about anything.  Mahi-mahi are funny in that they come through really strong for 2-3 days in a row, and then they disappear for a week or more where there are none to be found, and then they pop up again practically jumping in the boat.  It’s very hit or miss with the mahi-mahi or as I like to say, “Hero or Zero”.  Still, even on the days when the mahi-mahi are non-existent, the tunas, kingfish and other reef species are keeping us busy reeling in some nice fish.

John holding a pair of big snapper on his trip aboard the Catch My Drift

Nice snappers caught on the drift fishing trip out of Fort Lauderdale.

If the bite on the troll slows down, we usually switch over to deep dropping over the shipwrecks to try to hook into a big amberjack or grouper.  There are some big groupers still lurking around the wrecks and deep dropping is fast paced fishing.  You drop down, and either get a bite in the first 2-3 minutes or you reel them in and try to hit another wreck.  It usually only takes a couple shipwrecks before you find a wreck that is holding some fish.  Fish move from wreck to wreck every day so you have to experiment a little with some trial and error to find where they are biting that day.  And if the big game fish aren’t biting on the wrecks, we can always drop some multiple-hook chicken rigs to load up on the vermillion and yelloweye snappers.  It’s a buffet out there these days.

Ryan holding a big mahi-mahi caught on our sportfishing charter.

Nice bull dolphin caught on our sportfishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

The secret to fishing in Fort Lauderdale in October is to stay versatile.  You need to switch from technique to technique until you find what’s working that day.  That’s one big reason the afternoon is often the better trip time.  We have all that trial and error from the morning figured out so we can go right to what was working for us the best immediately when we go back out for the afternoon run.  The mullet run is just getting started which rejuvenates the reefs with lots of available food (baitfish) and get the big game fish such as sailfish, sharks, tarpon and barracudas, snapping all over the reefs.  Good luck to everyone fishing in these coming weeks.  I’ll sea ya on the water!

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

Andrew holding a 30 pound wahoo just caught trolling at sea.

Nice wahoo caught trolling on our sportfishing trip

Summertime Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

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3 people at the dock after the trip holding up some big mahi-mahi.

Nice Mahi-Mahi catch on our deep sea fishing charter.

I love fishing the summer months in Fort Lauderdale.  The action is off-the-scale.  Tons of action on the reef catching bonitos, kingfish, blackfin tunas, barracuda, wahoo and more.  The seas are generally super calm which makes for very comfortable fishing conditions.  The only drawback to summer is the heat.  Fortunately, all our boats have an inside, air-conditioned cabin so that you can escape the heat for a few minutes and recharge in the cool cabin.  With the beautiful weather, we’ve been fishing every day on 3 trips daily.  Our morning trips are doing pretty good, but our afternoon and night trips are slamming the fish.  The better afternoon bite may be due to the passing showers that usually pop up around 2-3pm.  When the storms come through, the barometer drops and the fish seem to turn on strong.  Fish really like the low pressure just before the storm hits.  Anyway, the afternoon bite has been really good.

2 guys holding up a big wahoo at the dock in Fort Lauderdale.

Nice wahoo caught on our sportfish charter in Fort Lauderdale.

Night fishing is quite good this time of year too.  Snappers of all species are biting on our night anchor and chum trips.  We’ve been catching yellowtail snappers, mangrove snappers and some mutton snappers as well as some groupers too.  Snappers spawn during the summer months, when the water is warm and the tides are moderate.  They amass in large numbers of fish to spawn and when they are spawning, they become very aggressive feeders.  This behavior usually lasts from June through September so we have quite a bit of time left of the really good night snapper fishing trips.

Father and son holding a big grouper and nice snapper that were just caught fishing in Fort Lauderdale.

Nice snapper and grouper caught on our night anchor fishing trip.

Daytime fishing has been hot too, and I don’t just mean the weather.  On our sportfishing charters, trolling is red hot for kingfish, blackfin tuna, bonitos, barracuda, wahoo, mahi-mahi and even a rare sailfish.  With the fish as bunched up as they are on the reef, trolling is the most effective way to catch a lot of fish, and good variety too.  You can literally catch just about anything trolling the Ft Lauderdale reefs.  The biggest fish biting these days is wahoo.  There are a lot more bonitos and kingfish around the reefs, and they are very aggressive feeders, so we catch a majority of them.  But every once in a while, when you least expect it, a wahoo jumps on the line.  You’ll know that this is happening when the reel starts sceaming drag off and the captains starts jumping up and down screaming, “wahoo, wahoo!!”.  Haha, it’s a lot of fun when that happens.

Father and son with a big mutton snapper caught fishing Fort Lauderdale

Nice mutton snapper caught on our deep sea fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale

In the summer, many of the fish go deep, to get down to the lower, cooler water columns.  We use planers to get the baits down to those depths where the fish are. The planer baits get most of the action when we’re trolling.  These deep baits get all the bonitos, kingfish and wahoo that we catch.  The other baits we pull are surface lures.  While these baits don’t get the same level of action as our deep baits get, they sometimes get the mahi-mahi or the sailfish or the big tuna of the day.  Even though it is warmer water near the surface, predator fish know that the small baitfish try to escape their fate by getting up to the surface of the water to create commotion and confuse the predator.  Sailfish and mahi excel at catching these escaping fish on the surface, so more often than not, when the surface line gets a bite, it’s going to be one of these really sought after fish.  You never know what’s going to bite out there.

Girl at the dock holding up a wahoo she caught during her Ft Lauderdale fishing charter.

Nice wahoo caught by this fisher gal on our sport fishing charter in Ft Lauderdale

On our drift fishing trips, pretty slammer action as well.  Morning fishing has been decent but not great.  Action on snappers is decent and sometimes there are some big king mackerels that bite in the mornings early.  We’ve been catching a lot more in the afternoons.  For some reason, and maybe its just because the fish are sleeping in, the afternoon fishing has been excellent and far and away the best trip of the day.  Snapper and grouper action in the afternoon has been far superior and although not as many kingfish bite late in the day as in the early mornings, there are still a few kings to be found later in the day.  The largest of the snappers that we catch consistently, mutton snappers, are biting extraordinarily good in the afternoons.  I’ve been seeing some 10-20 pounders caught lately and good numbers too.  It’s been one helluva summer for mutton snappers this year.

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

 

Family at the dock in front of the boat holding their catch of a bunch of fish.

Nice catch by this family while fishing on our drift boat fishing trip.

 

April Fishing in Fort Lauderdale is Great

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Nice wahoo just caught being held by 2 guys on a deep sea fishing trip

Nice wahoo caught on our sport fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

The fishing in April is great… and so is the catching!  We’re catching a variety of fish this week on both our drift fishing and our sportfishing charters.  First off, on our drift boat we’re catching quite a few yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snappers.  These are our main target and they are biting good for us on the third reef in about 80ft of water.  On days when the current is strong, the fish move in shallower so they don’t have to expend so much energy to hold position, so we move in shallower too.  Day trips are catching a nice mix of snappers along with grunts, porgies, triggerfish and some groupers.  Groupers are biting pretty decent out there, but I don’t mention them much because they are out of season and have to be released regardless of size.  On May 1, the grouper season opens and we’ll be sure to target them much more once we can keep them.  For the anglers fishing the drift boat trips looking for larger fish, the kingfish and bonitos are biting decently.  You always get more action fishing the bottom baits, but if you want to go for something larger, fish a whole sardine or ballyhoo on a mid-depth rig and you might get lucky with a nice kingfish, bonito, tuna or cobia.  All of those species are out there on the reefs right now.

2 guys holding up a nice sailfish just caught with its sail erect

Nice sailfish caught on our deep sea fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale.

Our sportfishing charters really shine this month.  April is the mahi-mahi spawn where the fish come right in on the reefs in only 100-150 ft of water to get their spawn on.  Any day when we get a strong East wind is a good day for mahi-mahi dolphin fish.  Coincidentally, the strong East wind days are also the roughest days to fish out there, but it’s worth it.  The big waves create action on the top of the water, and as a rule, activity generates more activity.  It’s a great cycle and it really gets the fish hungry and aggressive.  April is famous for big dolphin, right in on the reefs.  Along with dolphin, we also get a lot of other cool gamefish such as wahoo, tuna, sailfish and sharks; activity generates activity.

Group of guys on a bachelor party fishing charter holding up their catch of 11 wahoo, some mahi-mahi and tunas.

11 wahoo and some mahi-mahi caught by this bachelor party fishing charter.

We had some off-the-scale Ft Lauderdale wahoo fishing this past week.  We run a lot of bachelor party fishing trips on our boat the Mary B III, which is set up to take out larger groups on sportfishing charters.  This group had 13 guys and they did a half day fishing charter with us on the Mary B III.  From the second we first put our lines in the water until it was time to head back, we caught wahoo after wahoo after wahoo.  It was an incredible trip and we caught a total of 11 wahoo, plus a few mahi-mahi and tuna.  Fishing trips that good are few and far between.

Capt Rod and the angler posing with a big wahoo they just caught trolling the reef.

Nice wahoo caught trolling off Fort Lauderdale by this lucky angler.

This wasn’t the only trip we’ve caught wahoo on this week.  Capt Paul caught a 70 pound wahoo a few days ago on a lucky bite while pulling live bonitos around, as well as another trip a day later when he caught 4 good size wahoos.  The wahoo fishing lately has been the best I think I have ever seen.  Either that or we’re just getting really, really good at it.

Josh holding a pair of wahoo caught on a bachelor party fishing trip out of Fort Lauderdale

Josh holding a pair of wahoo caught trolling the Fort Lauderdale reef

April is the top month to fish Fort Lauderdale.  Just about everything is biting this month and we catch some of the biggest fish of each species that we will all year long.  May is really good too, but don’t wait to fish.  Come fishing now if you can while the fishing is good.  Good luck to everyone fishing out there this month.  I’ll sea ya on the water!

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

John and Johnny holding a nice pair of snappers caught on our drift fishing trip

Nice mangrove and mutton snapper caught by these lucky anglers on our drift fishing trip.