Top Shot Sportfishing Charters

April is a great month to deep sea fish in Fort Lauderdale.  We are targeting and having some great success with king mackerel, mahi mahi, wahoo, sailfish, tuna, sharks and amberjack.  When the north current speeds up the fish start to feed.  I always like a little easterly wind with some chop on the water which gets the fish up and moving.  Baitfish are also migrating along the coast during these months which increases the likelihood of seeing tuna, mahi and sailfish.  The warmer water temperatures in Fort Lauderdale stimulate these species and will increase the amount of fish caught during a fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale.  The sea conditions are calmer during the spring months compared to winter months making an offshore fishing charter more comfortable for anglers and crew alike.  

Fort Lauderdale is located along the southeastern coast of Florida where King Mackerel are plentiful due to the warm waters.  Trolling the reef in 100 to 150’ of water with two deep planner lines with a baited sea witch has been productive for King Mackerel.  The Fort Lauderdale area has an abundance of reefs, wrecks and structures which is a good for kings.  Fishing in Fort Lauderdale offers easy access to deeper waters which is close in proximity to the coast line where Kings migrate.  The size Kings have been ranging from 8 pound to 15 pounders and they are known for their powerful runs as well as acrobatic leaps out of the water when hooked.   We are using a variety of colors to see which one gets the fish biting, for example we will fish a green sea witch when the water color is a darker green.  Or use a darker color sea witch on clear sunny conditions.  Fresh cut strips definitely make a difference and we are catching more and bigger ones.   Adjusting the speed of boat and trolling at faster or slower speeds can help make the stubborn fish feed.  Kings migrate through the area year round which gives anglers the opportunity to catch kings regardless of the season, however April and May are the peak times to target them.   
King Mackerel caught while live baiting in Fort Lauderdale

King Mackerel caught live bait fishing in Ft. Lauderdale


King Mackerel caught trolling in 150′ of water

Bottom fishing for Mutton Snappers has also picked up and these fish are moving along the reef and can be found anywhere from 100 out to 200 feet of water.  Fort Lauderdale has many wrecks, drop offs and structures which is good for snapper fishing. Anchoring up or drifting in the current is a great way to target these fish.  Keeping the bait close to the bottom and using fresh bait again is the key when targeting snappers.  Mutton snappers are prized for their delicious taste and can grow to impressive sizes.  We have been losing some muttons to sharks and catching most.  Using a circle or J hook with light tackle makes for a fun fight.  Depending on the conditions of the day will determine what methods is used to target them. 

Mutton Snappers caught while bottom fishing in Ft. Lauderdale

April, May and June are three good months when tuna fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  The close proximity to the Gulf Stream with warm waters are ideal conditions for tuna.  These fish are traveling along the continental shelf and can be caught in 100 feet of water out to 500 feet of water.  Groups of tuna will break the surface and can be visible from a distance.  Look out for birds working high above the area which is a good indication of tuna activity.  These fish are ranging from 8 to 15 pounds with some fish over 25 pounds.  Tuna are prized for their strong fighting ability and not to mention they are an excellent fish to eat either raw or cooked.  Tuna have good eyesight so a little chop in the ocean with cloudy skies will increase the bite which helps hide the line and hook set.  Trolling at a higher speed can also help the tuna bite.  Using live baits for Tunas is another great method.  Pilchards and Herring work well when fished out of the kite or from the outriggers.  Trolling with smaller lures on the surface and deeper planner line is probably one of the most successful techniques.  What also makes this style fishing exciting is the ability to hook into other species such mahi mahi, sailfish and wahoo while trolling for tuna.  

Black fin Tuna caught while offshore fishing in Fort Lauderdale

Tuna caught trolling in Fort Lauderdale


Hammerhead sharks have been moving through the area and with the North current we are seeing these sharks on the surface and deep baits.  They have an excellent sense of smell and can detect a bait from a long distance.  April and May are two very good months when fishing in Fort Lauderdale for Sharks.  In addition to Hammerheads we are also catching Tiger, Sandbar, Bull sharks.  I am using a single large circle hook which sets in the corner of the sharks mouth which eliminates the shark getting gut hooked.  A spread of three baits works the best with one on the surface, one fished at 150 feet of water and the third bait fished at 300 feet of water.  A bonita cut in half is a tough bait to beat, a hammerhead shark will find the scent trail and zero in on the bait.  When a hammerhead shark feeds is when the excitement begins, the rod will bend over and the drag will start ripping off the reel.  Anglers will strap in for a fight of a lifetime which can last over an hour.  

Hammerhead shark on the wire

Fishing in Fort Lauderdale during the month of April we have also been having a lot of success with Amberjacks.  We have over a dozen wrecks in the county and these fish will congregate around the ship wrecks.   We are catching these fish anywhere from 100’ of water out to 400’ of water depending on the depth of the wreck structure.   Using live bait, dead bait or vertical jigging works well when targeting amberjack.  When the current is heading to the north I will position the boat just south of the structure and the first mate will rig a bait and send the bait down to the bottom.  Its important to bring the bait up off the bottom and not to snag the wreck.  When the fish feeds the rod will bend over and game on.  This is an important part of the fight as it is the anglers responsibility to quickly get the fish away from the structure.  Moving the boat ahead of the structure helps the angler in getting the fish away from the structure as these fish are fighting to get back in their home.  In addition to amberjack we are also catching groupers and snappers while wreck fishing.

Live bait wreck fishing in Fort Lauderdale for Amberjack

To book your next deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale contact Capt. Dave Zsak at (954) 439-8106
Bahia Mar
801 Seabreeze Blvd. 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316