Russ Beckley and Ed from New York came down South to Fort Lauderdale for a vacation/ business trip. While down, they decided to charter the Happy Day Today our 46í Hatteras based out of Bahia Mar.
With our first cold front arriving in Fort Lauderdale FL, the wind was out of the north and northwest at 10-15 mph and the temperature was 58 degrees at 7 am which is what we like and do not get enough of this perfect weather. Mitch the first mate and I were bundled up with long pants, heavy jackets - trying to keep warm; Russ and Ed arrived in Bermudas and t-shirts, enjoying our beautiful fall weather. By 9 am, the temperatures were in the mid 70ís and we shed our layers of clothing.
Russ wanted to target a Sailfish and one of the better ( probably one of the best South Florida methods to target Sails is kite fishing) , however having the right bait is critical. We stopped and purchased a dozen live Goggle Eyes from T & T Bait Boat located in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The bait boat goes out at night to catch the nocturnal feeding Goggle Eyes Ė once the sun rises, they stop feeding. Bait fishing for Goggle Eyes is a tough job, the bait boats leave late in the night and fish until dawn, then turn around and sell the bait to all the recreational fishing boats out of Fort Lauderdale.
With a dozen Goggle Eyes in our live bait well, we headed north to a wreck that sits in 160 ft. of water. With little current, it is a good idea to fish around a structure, the structure provides a home for bait fish and of course the bait fish attract Grouper, Amberjack, Cobia, Mahi, Sharks and of course Sailfish. We had two kites out with two live baits on each kite and one live bait from the outrigger with a spin on 2 oz lead.
Waiting for our first bite, we talked about the snow storm New York had the previous week and the damage caused. Within about 30 to 45 minutes into fishing, our first bite was a Mahi Mahi in the 20 lb. class on the right, long kite bait. The fish decided to jump across both fishing lines from the right to the left tangling both baits from the left kite, so as this is fishing, we had a little tangle that was quickly cut, retied and sent back out for, the reward was a 26 lb. Bull Mahi Mahi, followed by a couple of chop off from toothy predators which are most likely King Mackerel and or Barracudas that also hang around the wreck. Our next catch was another Mahi Mahi and thereafter a few more Mahi Mahiís.
With the sun gleaming down on the water, it was difficult to identify the fish that attacked the live bait from the left long kite. Russ was the angler on this hooked fish and fought the fish for 35 minutes. As the swivel broke the surface, I could see that it was a 7 ft. Shark (Golden Hammerhead), weighing close to 150 lbs, which was a challenging catch on a 30 lb. test line. Ed took a video of the action from the transom of the boat till the fish was released. It was not Edís turn, and this time the catch was a Black Tip Shark.
With a good catch of fish on the charter boat Happy Day Today and the Topshotfishing team, it was time to start heading back from our offshore trip.