February Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

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February is a hit or month for fishing in Fort Lauderdale. There are a lot of fish around this month, but they move through in spurts and schools. So we get a nice flurry and some awesome trips and then we hit a lull and there it’s tough to get a bite. Fort Lauderdale has the Gulfstream current, the main reason for our great fishing just a mile off our coast. This warm water current acts as a conveyor belt for the migratory fish, ushering in new fish through our waters every day. We get tunas, mahi, barracuda, sharks, sailfish and more this month and it all depends on a million variables that change every day.

In the winter months, some of our biggest fish make their way throughout waters. Sailfish, probably the most exciting and sought after fish in the ocean, are the grand prize for game fishermen and this is one of the best months to go after them on a sportfishing charter. After February, sailfishing tails down slowly through May and June and then they are only caught once in a while until the season starts back up. So get out there now while the bite is still hot. You gotta make your ‘hay’ while the sun is shining!

Wahoo are another species that bites incredibly well this month. The best bite is concentrated on the Full and New Moons. Wahoo love the tide change, when the offshore waters flow over the reef, bringing a strong head-current toward the baitfish and washing many of them away from the protective structures of the reef. Once they get into the open, they are easy targets and wahoo can use their tremendous speed to grab them before they even know what’s happening. The tide changes with the greatest force during the Full Moon and New Moons, so it makes sense that wahoo bite the best during those days. But wahoo can be caught any time of the year and at any time of day and the only sure thing is, they always bite when you least expect it.

While wahoo are one of the biggest gamefish on the reef this month, there are plenty of other cool species to be caught too. Blackfin tunas, bonitos, kingfish, barracudas and more are all over the reefs this month too. These fish make up the majority of our action and are always a thrill to catch. The plethora of baitfish over the reef this month make for good hunting grounds for a variety of fish, most of them feeding on all the same micro-species of baitfish. So all the fish we’re trying to catch this time of year are concentrated on and just outside of the reefs. This makes trolling the reef the most effective style of fishing so you can cover a lot of territory through the most lucrative fishing grounds.

Shark season is upon us! Sharks are the biggest and baddest fish that can be caught in the ocean. They are the Apex Predators and nothing hunts them back. They are the top of the food chain and remember, it’s all about the food. Big game fishermen come from around the world to come shark fishing from February to May. It’s a great season to catch hammerhead sharks, duskys, bulls, sandbars, makos and threshers. You can catch just about any kind of shark off our coast and some of the biggest ones are 6-12ft long. If you want to fight a truly large gamefish, shark fishing charters are the ultimate catch.

It’s a helluva month for fishing in Fort Lauderdale. Good luck to everyone that is fishing with us this month. I hope you have some good luck and hook into some of the awesome gamefish that are migrating off our coast. Sea you on the water,

Capt. Andy Roydhouse


Winter Is Sailfish Season in South Florida

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It’s a new year and a whole new batch of fish are moving into the south Florida waters. Lately, we’re getting some cooler temperatures moving through, something that is out of the ordinary for Fort Lauderdale. We’re known for our year-round warm weather. While some Floridians go into hibernation when the cold weather hits, fishermen in know head out to go fishing. Cold fronts are one of the best meteorological events that can happen for the charter fishing boats. Cold weather gets the sailfish frisky and eager to bite any bait they come across. We catch sailfish throughout the year here in Fort Lauderdale, but it’s when the temperatures drop that we catch the big numbers of them.

Sailfish are the most sought after gamefish in the entire world. People come from all around the world to Fort Lauderdale during the winter months to try to capture one of these elusive species. It’s now, during the months of January and February that the sailfishing peaks for us in south Florida. You can almost set your watch by it, when the temperature drops, the sailfish flags start flying. The coldest days are the days when you can catch record numbers of sailfish on a single trip. A lot of variables are involved in sportfishing, but chilly weather is definitely a big positive for catching sailfish.

January-February are great months for a lot of species. Mahi-mahi fishing can be good. They are always around, just scattered and if you can find them, you can do well with either a big one or a nice school of smaller ones. Wahoo are biting too on the edge of the Gulfstream. We catch them trolling, usually on the deep lines, and always when you least expect it. You know it’s a wahoo when the drag ‘smokes’ off the reel on the bite. Regular catches of bonitos and kingfish, sometimes a barracuda or blackfin tuna, are also being caught on the reefs. Fishing is always variable and sporadic, but mainly good this time of year. Good luck to everyone fishing Ft Lauderdale over the coming weeks. I’ll sea ya on the water.

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

The Winter Fishing Season Is Upon Us

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The winter fishing season in Fort Lauderdale is the time of year when the big boys are caught. It’s not a season for the best action, but we do catch some of the biggest fish we will catch all year long here in south Florida. December and January are perhaps the best 2 months of the year for catching sailfish, our most sought after gamefish. People come from around the world during these 2 months to try their luck at landing this most amazing and beautiful billfish. Our sailfish average around 7ft in length and they put up one of the most awesome aerial displays of jumping out of any fish in the ocean. Sailfish are sometimes called the ballerina of the sea. And what’s best about fishing for sailfish in Fort Lauderdale is, we catch them only a mile offshore.

That’s pretty amazing, catching this huge gamefish only a mile offshore. Most places in the world, you have to trek 20-30 miles offshore to even have a shot at this elusive species. But in south Florida, the continental shelf drops off super close to shore. One mile offshore, we’re in 100ft of water. Two miles offshore, we’re in 600ft of water. And the Gulfstream current, the warm water current pushing water with epic force at 3-4 knots to the north, hugs along this drop-off coming closer to the eastern seaboard closer than anywhere else. We call the waters between a mile a mile and half, “Sailfish Alley”. It’s the best place to go set your baits in hopes of hooking into that trophy sailfish.

Sailfish Alley is a pretty narrow column of water. It’s only a few football fields wide and it’s the area where 90% of the sailfish migrate through. The depths of Sailfish Alley are 100-180ft deep, just outside the reef and the inside edge of the Gulfstream. This area is laden with baitfish such as goggle eyes, threadfin herring, sardines, bonitos, blue runners, speedo mackeral and cigar minnows, among others. This plethora of available food is why sailfish and other large gamefish, patrol these waters for their next meal. My favorite technique of fishing to do this time of year is to go out to Sailfish Alley and do a technique called kite fishing. Kite fishing is an awesome technique of fishing where we fly kites and dangle live baits from the kites with the baits suspended right on the surface of the water. The baits struggle to keep their heads below water, creating ‘fish-in-distress’ signals and broadcasting them out to the predators on the reef. I won’t get too much into the kite fishing technique as I have covered this technique extensively in some of my fishing articles, but it is a great way to target large, surface feeding gamefish in the winter months off Fort Lauderdale.

Sailfish are not the only species patrolling this area for their next feast. This is prime zone for all the pelagic species. In this same area, we also catch mahi-mahi, blackfin tuna, wahoo, bonito, kingfish and more. These species bite strong in some of the conditions we get in the winter months, such as the cold, changing winds and other variables. Sailfish for one, bite extremely well on windy days and during cold fronts. They go crazy on cold weather days. Wahoo bite strong around the tide change and especially well on the new and full moons. Mahi-mahi bite best when we get a strong East wind for a few days in a row. Tunas bite really good in the early, early mornings or the late, late afternoons. They like the low-light of sunrise and sunset. Our biggest advantage over other boats in our area is our experience in fishing Fort Lauderdale, day in and day out for over 40 years.

For the next month and half, the big game fish are moving through. This time of year offers the best chances at catching your desired big game species. As my dad always told me, you gotta make your hay while the sun is shining. In other words, best to go sailfish fishing when the conditions are optimal and the sailfish are biting. Good luck to everyone fishing in the near future. I’m excited to see the big game fish we catch over the next month and a half. I’ll sea ya on the water!

Capt. Andy Roydhouse