Fishing in Fort Lauderdale last week we had a good push of fish come through. A strong run of King Mackerel inshore catching 4 to 6 per trip and getting Mahi Mahi hook ups offshore. Also catching some decent bottom fish with some Mutton Snapper and Amberjacks. Last year around this time we had a good three to four weeks of productive Ft. Lauderdale fishing in October. The weather is nice with a little cooler temperatures and consistent trade winds.
October 6th we had a half day fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale with Steven and Ronnie from Boston. We started the charter with trolling the reef in 150 feet of water. There had been some good trolling action with King Mackerel fishing so we started trolling South. All the King bites came from the two deep planner lines with the baited sea witches. As we were heading South the majority of the hook ups were on the shallower side of the reef in 80 to 90 feet of water. They were mostly smaller sized King Mackerel and some larger ones mixed in. We ended up catching a total of 9 King Mackerel and kept 5 of them. Some of the larger Kings were weighing over 20 pounds. Next we decided to head offshore and target Mahi Mahi. We trolled out to 750 feet of water and found some “slicks” running north and south. It didn’t really look like much but we stayed on the slick and found 6 Mahi Mahi. Of the 6 fish caught we released two and kept 4 of them.
October 7th Bill and Bradley from Detroit Michigan were on a work convention and brought their families out for a half day charter. The wind had shifted and the water color changed from the day before so I headed a different direction to find the fish. For the first half of the charter we trolled the reef up to the Northern structures and targeted King Mackerel. The family was having a great time catching the Kings and of course the planner rods had all the action. After we had 5 fish in the box we decided to swing for the fences and try for some big game. We cleared the spread of baits and got out the 80’s which are for larger gamefish. The 1st mate rigged the two dead baits with using a single large circle hook in the lower and upper part of the jaw. I positioned the boat into the current and we set out the baits. The fish are traveling into the current and can “smell” the blood and oils coming out of the bait. It didn’t take long before a shark found one of the baits and game on!! The rod bent over and drag started ripping off the reel. Brad was the angler and he did a great job fighting the shark. After a 45 minute fight a large Tiger Shark came up to the surface. The first mate started to wire in the shark and he had the Tiger along side the boat. We first attempted to cut the hook in half with bolt cutters. The Tiger Shark started thrashing from side to side and as I had the bolt cutters firmly clamped down on the hook the fish actually straightened out the hook. Was pretty intense for a moment, the shark swam away and no one got hurt.
October 8th Steve and Nicole from Orlando Florida booked us for a half day charter in Fort Lauderdale. Steve asked to try fishing offshore for Mahi Mahi and I recommend we first start the morning out and try to catch a few King Mackerel, and then head offshore and look for Mahi. So we started the charter on the reef trolling for King Mackerel and ended up hooking a few fish soon as we started. However they were smaller sized fish and we released them. I continued working the reef a little deeper water and in 180 feet of water found 3 Kings. Now that we caught 5 fish and with 3 in the box the next move was heading offshore to deeper water. I was searching for the same “slicks” I found the day before. Sure enough in 750 feet of water they were still there. The first mate got the spread of baits in the water and we worked down this rip line. After a short period of time we ended up hooking a Sailfish. Steve did a great job angling the fish and we successfully removed the hook, got a quick picture then released the Sail. We got the lines back in the water and continued fishing in this area. It didnt take long before we got another nice bite. This time it was on the planner rod. The line started ripping out and we had a big fish on. The first mate had his gaff ready and the angler was fighting the fish. Steve did a great job fighting this fish as line was ripping out. As the fish was getting closer we could see it was a Wahoo. The 1st mate reached down and gaffed the Wahoo and in the box.