The good old Jersey boys from Trenton NJ, John Maleahi and four friends chartered the Happy Day Today to do some deep sea fishing off of Ft. Lauderdale. John, who is a very avid fisherman - owning his own boat in New Jersey, fishing for Tunas and Sharks off of Southern NJ, decided to have a busman's holiday to do some sport fishing in Ft. Lauderdale South Florida.
The day started off by visiting Bud the bait man for 12 goggle eyes and Julie for 12 pilchards to do some sport fishing for Sailfish and Sharks. The game plan was to start off with some trolling and then go into live baiting. The weather was gorgeous, in the low 80's, wind out of the south at 12-15 mph and a powder blue sky in sunny Ft. Lauderdale.
We started trolling with two plainers, one with strip bait and the other with a spoon and Ballyhoos for surface baits. The plan was to troll to the south off of Ft. Lauderdale and set up live baiting over some of our local artificial wrecks of which we have 34 in Ft. Lauderdale, South Florida. As we trolled to the south we hooked up some Bonitas, which are prime Shark baits. As I approached the area of the wrecks, we stopped and put up two kites with four Goggle Eyes, two from each kite, a Shark bait on the bottom with Bonita, a Shark bait on the surface and live pilchards from the riggers. "It looks like we have a school of bait fish behind the boat," remarked John. "That's the idea," I replied.
Our first bite was from a Mahi Mahi on the long left kite. As the Mahi Mahi came out of the water jumping, he tanled the other lines from our right kite. "No problem, just get the fish to the boat," Mitch our angler told John. It is a nice size gaffer, as Mitch gaffed the Mahi Mahi and put him in the fish box. As we went back to set up over the artificial wreck again, our next bite was our bottom Shark bait. John was first up for the Shark - he wasn't fighting too hard, but that's because the Shark was swimming towards the boat, not knowing he was hooked yet. As the fish came to the surface we could see it was a Golden Hammerhead weighing approximately 120-150 lbs - 6 ft. long. After a while Mitch grabed a hold of the leader, but the fish was still very green and made another run. After the third time Mitch grabbed a hold of the leader, the hooked up Shark was conquered. Pictures were taken, and we released the fish to swim away. Not to long after that, our bottom Shark bait rod bent over again, hooked up with a Shark, but after a 10 minute fight, the fish pulled the hook. As we were sitting looking at the kite baits and the Ft. Lauderdale sky line, a boat 500 yards from us had a Sailfish on - I knew our turn would be next.
A couple of more bites, a couple more Bonitas. Finally, our Sailfish popped up and took one of the kite baits. As I looked towards the line screaming off the reel, I saw that there was another Sailfish off of the left short kite bait. This Sailfish did not feed, so we brought the kites in and worked the hooked up Sailfish. A half hour into the battle, John brought the Sailfish to the side of the boat. As Mitch leaned over and brought the Sailfish over the boat, pitctures were taken. A nice job to all - even to the Sailfish, as he was released and swam away!
We headed back from our 4 hour deep sea salt water fishing charter trip to the dock at Bahia Mar, in South Florida, Fort Lauderdale. This ends another successful and adventurous fishing excursion on the Happy Day Today with Captain Zsak.
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