Fort Lauderdale fishing report for the charter boat “Happy Day Today” and Top Shot Sportfishing Charters.
The month of May has traditionally been a good time for targeting a variety of species and so far we are seeing this come to fruition. The weather has been superb with calm seas. Not to mention just a mile off the Fort Lauderdale beaches in 150 feet of water we have been experiencing clear blue water. Compared to other times of the year when the water color is more blue/green. The sea weed has been manageable with many days having minimal amounts on the fishing grounds.
A combination of trolling, live bait fishing and bottom fishing will round out the day fishing in Fort Lauderdale. Providing an opportunity to see anything from Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, King Mackerel, Wahoo, Amberjack and Black Fin Tunas.
During the month of May we are seeing and catching a decent amount of Sailfish. This is the tail end of the migration passing through the area yet still very productive. Depending on the conditions will determine which method we will use. For example if the wind is blowing 12-15 mph we will kite fish. This is using two kites with live baits. It’s an exciting way to target Sailfish; not only will we hook Sails but also catch Tunas, Mahi and Kings with the live baits.
Mahi Mahi will be traveling through the area which is the early summer push. We’ve been seeing some good weeks and some slow weeks. Black Fin Tunas are here and the size of the tunas are certainly larger than the ones we catch in Fall and Winter. These fish are weighing 10 to 15 pounds with some bigger ones pushing 20 lbs caught while live baiting. Trolling has been the best way to target the Tunas. Locating a rip line, color change and fishing the drop off will increase the chances of the Tuna bite. Searching for birds and live bait is another great way to get on the fish.
Bottom and wreck fishing has been very good in April and now May with Amberjacks. There are three good methods to target AJs. We will set up over a sunken ship wreck, rock pile or ledge. A little current always helps these fish feed better as they will move up current of the structure. Slow pitch bottom jigging is a fun way to hook AJs, with sending down and lure and jigging them up. When they hit the lure its game on, always a crowd favorite. Fishing live baits will excite any AJ down there and can produce larger fish. I’ll fish a leader to a circle hook with a dropping lead. Dead baits are also good to use when the first two options don’t work. Persistence does pay off when trying different methods. The last couple fishing charters we have tried all three methods and have caught AJs.
The Black Fin Tunas have been ranging from 100 feet of water out to 600 feet of water. Day to day the depth changes as well as the time of the day when they start to feed. Seeing some more success fishing for Tuna in the afternoon hours. Also depending on the days conditions with some wind and cloud cover the Tunas will feed better than on flat calm days with cloudless skies.
April and May fishing in Fort Lauderdale has also brought us some good King Mackerel action. Fishing along the shallow side of the reef in depths ranging from 60 feet of water out to 300 feet of water these fish will travel along the reef. Twin planner trolling has been working the best. Staggering the planners using different sizes and weighted planners will help achieve the desired depths. Also variations of speed will help catch that extra couple of fish to hit your limit.
The Wahoo bite has been hit or miss and when we get the screaming Wahoo bite its really like no other. Certain times of the month will be better than others and we like to fish for Wahoo a little deeper at a higher speed, not much faster but an extra knot of speed will help. Changing the colors of the lures also helps, it could be the cloud cover, water color or bait selection that changes the shadows of the bait, but whatever it is there are some days that only purple works and other days only blue works. Keeping a mental log of which colors work based on the conditions and you will start to see a pattern.
Finally we will fish the bottom for Snappers. They are caught in many different depths and depending on the type of Snapper you are targeting will determine where to fish. We are catching Vermillion snappers in deeper water and Mutton Snappers and Yellow Tails in shallower water.
The vessel is a 52′ Hatteras sport fish with all fishing tackle and licensing provided. To book your deep sea fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale contact Capt. Dave Zsak at (954) 439-8106.