Category Archives: Offshore Reports

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
www.FishHeadquarters.com
754-214-7863

Great Snapper Fishing This Month in Fort Lauderdale

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

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