Top Shot Sportfishing Charters

Fort Lauderdale deep sea fishing report for the charter boat “Happy Day Today” and Top Shot Sportfishing Charters located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

May 19th- Kyle from Fort Lauderdale booked us for a half day fishing charter and the fish were biting.  It’s mid May and we had nice conditions with light easterly winds and 1-2 foot seas.  We started out the morning trolling the reef in 150 feet of water.  The reef has varying depths as the contour runs along the coastline.  Fortunately here in Fort Lauderdale we have numerous sunken ship wrecks, rock piles, ledges and drop offs all of which “hold” fish.  The first mate rigged two deep planner lines and four surface rigger lines. All of which are fresh cut bait.  He also had rigged swimming Ballyhoos. The bites came fast and furious. Soon as we had the baits in the water we had a fish on!!  The deep planner lines had most of the action. We started catching King Mackerel and Bonita and ended up with 8 Kings and 4 Bonitas in just a few hours fishing. With just about an hour left in the charter we decided to try for a shark.  Using one of the fresh caught Bonitas which are the best shark baits because they are soo bloody.  We used a single circle hook connected to a 24′ leader of #300 pound leader.  It didn’t take long (like 5 minutes) until the rod bent over and we had a shark on.  The boys took turns fighting the shark and after a lengthy battle released a Sandbar Shark.  I like to use bolt cutters to cut the hook in half which is the safest way to release the shark and the shark swims away with no hook in his jaw.  It was a great ending to an action packed fishing charter.  
Fort Lauderdale Deep Sea Fishing

Shark caught fishing in Fort Lauderdale with live bait

Deep sea fishing in Fort Lauderdale

King Mackerel, Bonita and a shark caught while charter fishing in Fort Lauderdale

May 17th Mason fished an afternoon trip from 1-5pm.  Picture perfect conditions with electric blue water, north current, flying fish showering the ocean with a light easterly wind.  We started the trip trolling the reef in 150′ of water.  Fishing the baits along the continental shelf is a great place to start.  The first mate deployed a trolling spread of two deep planner lines with four surface lines.  The first bite came on the long planner and was a King Mackerel.  We continued to get bites which included Mahi Mahi, Bonita, Tuna and more Mackerel. The grand finale came when the long planner line tripped and the drag started ripping off.  This was a much larger fish than what we had been catching.  Based on how hard the rod bent over and the amount of line ripping off the reel.  A few seconds later a Sailfish came up jumping.   Mason did an excellent job fighting the Sailfish for such a young angler and all by himself.  This was an awesome battle with drag ripping off and with some gains on the fish.  When the sailfish approached the vessel, the planner was removed and the last 80 feet he brought the Sail to the side of the gunwale. We were able to successfully board the Sailfish, remove the hook and after a quick picture released the Sail back in the water.    
Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

Picture of a Sailfish caught and released while trolling offshore Fort Lauderdale

family friendly fishing fort lauderdale
May 15th- A group from Southwest Airlines  fished with us and we were targeting a Sailfish.  The first stop was to a sunken ship wreck.  This wreck lies in 265 feet of water and is a sunken barge.  The barge was sunk over 50 years ago and is still a very productive wreck.  The first mate rigged a live bait to a circle hook and sent the bait down to the wreck.  Best to fish the live bait up current of the wreck with having the bait close to the wreck but not too close to where the line will hang up on the structure.  As we were approaching the front part of the wreck, the live bait got nervous, the rod bent over and we had a nice one on!!  After a great fight we brought in an Amberjack.   Since the guys were wanting to target a Sailfish one of the best methods for Sailfishing is live bait kite fishing, so we sent out two kites with four live baits.  About 20 minutes into live bait fishing I could see first the live bait getting nervous, then the dorsal of a Sailfish.  The angler grabbed the rod, and with free spool, fed the Sail.  This fish knew something was wrong, started shaking his head violently and almost instantaneously started jumping and spitting the hook.  So we saw one.  Now back to fishing.  The kite spread back out.  All of a sudden a large boil underneath the short bait and the line started ripping off.  The angler got on the reel and started fighting the fish.  After a great battle a Tuna came up to the surface, the first mate reached out with the gaff and in the boat.  We continued live bait kite fishing and it didn’t take long until we got another giant crash on the surface.  The line started screaming off and we had another great battle ahead of us.  After some gains and losses we were getting this fish closer to the boat.  The mate yelled out “deep color” as he could see the fish.  About that time I could see the dorsal of a shark break the surface then quickly descend.  The Tuna made his final run.  The line started violently shaking and we knew exactly what was happening.  The Bull shark got ahold of the Tuna.   Unfortunately these things happen with lengthy battles in shark territory.  Check out the size of the shark bite.
Fort Lauderdale Fishing                    Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters
May 13th- Kathy and her friends from Ohio booked us for a half day deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale.  We started the fishing charter out searching for Mahi Mahi.  I ran offshore for a few miles until we found a current edge.  This edge had seaweed, color change from light blue to dark blue and flying fish.  Ideal for Mahi mahi, Wahoo and Sailfish. We got the trolling spread in the water and I started trolling into the current.  The current was heading to the North so we were fishing to the South.   The first strikes came on the outrigger lines.  The mate rigged swimming Ballyhoos and Mahi find them hard to resist.  Two lines came down at once and we had a double header Mahi Mahi.  As we were fishing down the current edge we continued to hook and catch Mahi Mahi.  Some of these fish were undersize which were released and the legal size fish we kept.  We caught a total of 12 Mahi Mahi and 6 were keeper size plus two Black Fin Tunas.  As we were heading in from offshore as the trip was nearing the end, we still continued to fish the spread of baits.  Looking back we could see a Sailfish was trying to feed on one of the rigger lines.  The angler fed the Sail some line and hooked the fish. After a great fight we were able to bring the Sail in the boat, remove the hook, quick picture and release the fish.  Another fantastic day fishing in Fort Lauderdale all just a few miles off the beach.  
sailfishing near me                  fishing charters near me
May 11th – Sean from Arkansas wanted to take his family out for some deep sea fishing in Fort Lauderdale.  Since this trip was for his granddaughters he preferred to target smaller fish.  We decided to fish the bottom for Snappers.  The mate rigged up some fresh cut bonita, squid and ballyhoo and we started fishing some shallow water snapper spots.  The fishing was good and we had steady action catching a nice variety of snappers.  We caught Mutton, American Red and Vermillion Snappers.  His granddaughters did a great job angling and enjoyed fresh caught Snapper for dinner.  
fishing charters near me                   red snapper fishing near me
May 10th- Shawn from Tennessee booked us for a half day deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale.  We fished a trolling spread of two deep planner lines and four surface swimming ballyhoo baits.  A really nice edge was forming in 200 feet of water so we fished the line down to the south.  Birds were working on and off the area occasionally swooping down to snatch up a flying fish.  Bird activity can be a great sign of good fishing and it certainly was the case for this trip.  The edge had weed forming and there was an additional half current on the deep side of the edge.  This is where bait fish will be caught up in the current and pelagic fish will hunt.  The first bite was a screaming planner bite.  The line was ripping off the reel and up came jumping a Sailfish.  Shawn did a great job fighting the fish and once we got the fish along side the boat we removed the hook and released the Sail.  We continued trolling down the edge and the same long planner line with the blue sea witch got another big bite.  A good amount of drag ripped off the reel and Shawn was able to bring the fish in range and we could see it was a Wahoo.  As the fish got closer the mate reached out and gaffed the Wahoo.  Back to fishing the edge.  I could see on the long rigger line there was a Sailfish behind the swimming Ballyhoo.  The sail was hungry and ready.  Shawn fed the fish some line and came tight hooking the Sail.  It was a great fight on light tackle.  Shawn fought the Sail and was able to bring the fish alongside the boat.  The first mate reached down and brought the Sail into the boat for a quick picture then back in the water.  
Ft Lauderdale sailfishing                  wahoo fishing Ft Lauderdale
To book a deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale contact Capt. Dave Zsak with the “Happy Day Today” and Top Shot Sportfishing Charters.
(954) 439-8106
Bahia Mar
801 Seabreeze Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33316