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


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

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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

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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.