Top Shot Sportfishing Charters
We had a Fort Lauderdale fishing charter with Bob Saba and his three kids from Wisconsin.  Nice weather for the day with 1-2 foot seas and an Easterly wind which is always a favorable direction for catching fish.  The vessel departed from Bahia Mar located in Fort Lauderdale and headed out of the Port Everglades inlet. After a short run we had lines in the water at 100’ of water at the sea bouy.  The sea bouy is always a good starting point for the charter as we can gauge the water current and see what bait fish are up current of the bouy.  I have had a lot of success with fishing around the schools of bait whether they are blue runners, bullet bonitas or even Ballyhoos.   We will have Mahi Mahi, King Mackerel and Sailfish along with many other species feeding on these baitfish.  Sooner the better but you never know what pelagic species are below.  The first mate deployed two deep planner lines with baited sea witches and four surface lines with Ballyhoos.  We trolled around the sea bouy and the school of bait fish.  The first strike came on the deep planner line.  The rod went from the set down position then came up and we had a fish on!!   One of the anglers started reeling and brought up the fish, the first mate grabbed the gaff and we brought in a nice Black Fin Tuna.

Ft. Lauderdale fishing


I had some deep marks on the sounder and went back over the area that we had the first strike and on the depth sounder marked a few more fish.  We worked the area and got another strike on the deep planner line.  The angler reeled in another nice Black Fin Tuna.  As we were heading back and forth over the area the school of fish moved out a little deeper and I could see some birds offshore.   We trolled the surface spread of Ballyhoos over to the birds and soon as we approached the area one of the outrigger lines got a strike and we had a Mahi Mahi on.

fishing in Fort Lauderdale

As we were bringing in the Mahi we had another couple fish in the spread.  The charter boat was moving slower but still enough speed to excite and hook two more fish.  Now we had all three fish on and coming in and as the anglers were fighting the fish.  One by one the mate had his gaff shots and brought the fish into the boat.   After the mess of blood and lines got cleaned up we resumed trolling.  At this time there wasn’t any sign of the birds so we continued looking for more fish.  We trolled the baits into shallower water.  Trolling the reef there is structure such as sunken ship wrecks, rock piles and natural reef structures.  I fished over a couple of spots that we have had success in the past and when the baits passed over the shelf we got a planner bite and put a Bonita into the box.  The big ones put up a good fight and this time of the year a lot of them are big.    After catching a couple more Bonita we decided to try for a Shark, so we cleared out the trolling spread and got rigged up for larger game.  The mate rigged up two baits.  We are fishing with circle hooks and are having great success both hooking and catching these fish and safely releasing the fish unharmed.

The mate sent out a surface bait and a bottom bait, this technique is covering the full spectrum of the water column.  All of the scent from the baits are heading with the current down the reef and any fish that is swimming in the area will pick up on the location of the baits.

Meanwhile to keep busy the anglers are vertical jigging and casting out for any fish that passes through the area.

We are holding position and depth with the baits behind the boat and waiting for a sign of a shark.  This can happen right away or sometimes it takes some time to get the bite.

shark fishing ft lauderdale

All of a sudden I could see the tip of a shark dorsal swimming towards the surface bait.  The surface bait has a small bouy which suspends the bait on the surface.  When the shark is approaching the surface bait we will see the fish.  Once he arrived to the bait the shark circled it once then fed.  The bouy srarted ripping off and the angler was on the reel.  He started reeling tight and hooked the shark!!  The battle began.  The fish ripped off line and started sounding.  I positioned the boat up current of the shark and as  we were backing down we were  consistently making gains on the shark.  Now we were about 45 minutes into the fight and the leader was close.  Kyle the first mate reached out and got a hold of the leader.  He did a great job wiring the shark and Kyle had control of the fish for the entire time.  We got the shark along side the boat.  Whenever possible I will use a pair of bolt cutters to cut the hook.  Its the best way to safely get the hook out of the sharks mouth.

Ft Lauderdale sharks