Top Shot Sportfishing Charters

Deep sea fishing report for the charter boat “Happy Day Today” a 52′ Hatteras sportfish located at Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale.

Sailfishing in Fort Lauderdale is a popular activity, especially during the winter months when sailfish migrate through the area in large numbers.  Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” due to the abundance of sailfish in its waters.  An angler can experience multiple sailfish when fishing in Fort Lauderdale.
These acrobatic fish are prized for their fighting ability and are released after being caught to preserve the population and due to conservation has been continually growing.
Sailfish are more abundant in Fort Lauderdale’s waters during the winter months, typically from December until April.  This is when the sailfish migrate through the area in large numbers.  Sailfish tent to congregate near underwater structures, reefs, drop-offs, and current edges.  We catch sailfish in water depths ranging from 100 to 300feet, where sailfish are known to feed.  Of course we catch them in shallower water and out many miles in the very deep water, however the sweet spot is from 100-300.  Trolling is an effective method for targeting sailfish using rigged ballyhoo, mullet, or strip baits.  Troll these baits behind the boat at varying depths and distances until you get a strike.
Kite fishing and live baits are highly effective and one of the most popular methods.  Popular choices include goggle eye, pilchards, blue runners and herring.
Many anglers use teasers which are artificial or natural baits rigged to attract sailfish to the surface.  Teasers can be deployed ahead of the trolling baits to entice sailfish into striking.  When a sailfish strikes, its important to let it “eat” the bait for a few seconds before setting the hook.
Sailfish are known for their acrobatic leaps and powerful runs.  Be prepared for a thrilling fight once hooked.  Maintain steady pressure on the fish while keeping the line tight to prevent it from throwing the hook.

Sailfishing in Fort Lauderdale

Emily and her son Ean booked us for a half day afternoon fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale.  Shortly after departing from the marina we reached the blue water just two miles off the beach.  The current edge looked right so we fished two kites with four live baits.  From the bridge I could see a sailfish rise from the deep blue water.  This fish did not waste any time and fed almost immediately when it locked on the goggle eye.  The angler fed the sailfish then engaged the reel hooking the sailfish.  Ean was fighting his first sailfish and he did a great job.  Keeping the line tight is very important keeping the hook in the fish’s mouth.  After removing the hook and a quick photo the Sailfish was released and swam away back to the deep abyss where he arose.

Ean caught this Sailfish trolling in Fort Lauderdale

Chad, Robyn and Will from Oklahoma booked us for a deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale.  The wind was lightly blowing and too light to kite fish, so we trolled a spread of baits.  We headed up to an area that has good reef structure along with sunken ship wrecks and has been productive in previous charters.  As we were heading over a sunken ship wreck a sailfish was behind the teaser line.  As I was retrieving the teaser the mate pitched a ballyhoo and the sailfish fed and we hooked the fish.  Will was the angler and he did a great job fighting the sailfish, when the fish was at the back of the boat we removed the hook and back in the water.  Now just after we released the sailfish the wind had picked up and it was time to start kite fishing.  The mate set out two kites and 4 live baits.  The long kite bait started to “walk off” at a hard angle.  The angler fed the fish some line and when reeling tight up came jumping a sailfish.  Kite fishing is such an exciting way to target pelagic species and can be chaotic, exhilarating and fast paced all at once.

Fort Lauderdale fishing for Sailfish

Wreck fishing for amberjack in Fort Lauderdale can be an exciting experience!  Fort Lauderdale is known for its abundance of wrecks and artificial reefs that attract a variety of fish species, including the powerful and hard fighting amberjack.  There are numerous wrecks off the coast of Fort Lauderdale ranging in depths from 100 to 300 foot range.  Since amberjack are strong and can put up a tough fight we use heavy duty fishing tackle with high quality braided line and 100 pound leader along with a circle hook.

Caught using live bait while wreck fishing

Live bait works great for catching amberjack.  Also artificial jigs can be very effective.  Once hooked they will head straight for the wreck in an attempt to break you off.  Keep steady pressure on the fish to slow his momentum.
We fished over a variety of wrecks this past week and had some excellent amberjack catches.  Here are some pictures of fish we caught last week.
If you’re planning a deep sea fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale, it’s a good idea to book in advance.  Be prepared for a thrilling experience as you battle a sailfish which is one of the ocean’s fastest and most powerful fish.  Or the heart pounding action of an amberjack ripping off drag as they are heading into the deep abyss.
Contact Capt. David Zsak to book your Fort Lauderdale fishing adventure aboard a 52′ Hatteras sportfish “Happy Day Today”
cell phone (954) 439-8106