Category Archives: Drift Fishing Reports

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

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.

February Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

By | Drift Fishing Reports, Offshore Reports, Sportfishing Charter Report | No Comments
Group of bachelor party guys taking a pic aboard the boat with a wahoo they just caught.

February is wahoo month. Nice wahoo caught by these guys on a bachelor party fishing trip.

Finally!  We’re through the rough patch of January where fish are really hard to come by.  We’re into February now where the fishing starts to get better and better out here in Fort Lauderdale.  The action is improving daily and so are the size of our catches.  The fishing starts improving now until it peaks in May.  The highlights for February are the sailfish in 100-150ft of water, small blackfin tunas all over the place, wahoo should be biting, the shark migration begins and some of the big game bottom fish start showing up around the wrecks.

Family posing with a nice sailfish caught in Ft Lauderdale.

Nice sailfish by this family on our deep sea fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.

On our drift fishing trips, snappers are beginning to move back out to the deep, following their retreat last month into the shallow waters.  Snappers are the main target on our drift fishing trips.  This past month, you really had to work hard to catch some snappers.  In the winter months, snappers slide in shallower into 20-30 ft of water.  They do their mating spawn and then slowly start moving back out into the deep.  The mangrove and yellowtail catches are beginning to improve daily and should be at full strength again by the end of the month.  Mutton snappers are biting better and better all the time too.  They didn’t slack off as much as the smaller species of snappers did, but mutton had their own issues as this is the first year of the new size limit being 18″.  Many of the muttons we caught over the past few months had to be released because they didn’t make the size limit.  This is a good thing as it will make for more breeding size muttons in the mix, so many  more muttons next year for us.  Also, larger muttons are starting to show up already, showing us that this new size limit for them is a great thing.

happy lady angler posing with her mahi she just caught offshore of Fort Lauderdale.

Nice mahi caught by this fisher gal on our drift fishing trip aboard the Catch My Drift.

February is prime season for our sportfishing charters.  The sailfish, which showed up late again this year just like they did last year, are starting to bite in awesome numbers.  Last year was the same thing.  They usually show up in November and then start tailing off in early March.  This year, they didn’t even show up until mid-January.  So, just like last year, the sailfish bite should continue to be awesome all the way through April.  Sailfish are one of our biggest gamefish here in Fort Lauderdale and they are most definitely the most sought after gamefish in the entire world.  They are awesome to catch with their aerobatic display of jumping, somersaults and the sheer runs they put on.  Everything about sailfish is exciting.

Father and son pose at the dock with a big kingfish and barracuda they just caught on their fishing charter.

Nice kingfish and huge barracuda caught by this father and son fishing team aboard our sportfishing charter.

Sharks are beginning their big migration down our coastline this month.  February is the start of the shark train where hundreds of thousands of sharks cruise down our coast on their move northward.  We get so many sharks here in Fort Lauderdale, it’s crazy.  And they are humongous.  We catch hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, mako, thresher, bull, dusky and more.  Some of these sharks are 10 feet long and larger or weigh more than 300 pounds.  These are some of the largest and strongest gamefish in the ocean.  We run a huge amount of special shark fishing charters, where go out and fish almost solely for big game sharks.  These charters are incredibly successful in February, March and April.

Nice mutton snapper just caught drift fishing off Ft Lauderdale.

Nice mutton snapper caught drift fishing aboard the Catch My Drift

Tunas, wahoo and mahi are the other species that bite on our sportfishing charters and February is a great month for them.  Mahi are sporadic so you never know where they are going to be or when they are going to bite.  Blackfin tunas are usually all over the reefs and bite small feathers and other streamline lures that you pull fast behind the boat when trolling.  They are usually everywhere on the reefs during February and March and they are very hungry and aggressive.  Wahoo are a bit more elusive.  You never know where they are going to be or when they are going to bite.  They do bite especially well on the tide change, especially the tide change during the full and new moons.  The full moon in February is generally a hot to trot wahoo bite on the Fort Lauderdale reefs.

It’s a great time of year for our Fort Lauderdale fishing charters.  There’s a lot happening, a lot changing (for the better) and a lot of fish moving through.  Good luck to everyone fishing on our charters this month.  I’ll sea ya on the water.

Capt. Andy Roydhouse

2 happy anglers aboard the boat with a nice wahoo they just caught on their fishing charter.

Nice wahoo caught on our sportfish charter by these lucky guys.

Fort Lauderdale Dolphin Fishing Charters

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