Fort Lauderdale fishing report for charter boat Happy Day Today and Top Shot Sportfishing Charters
Fishing this month we have been executing a few different methods, wreck fishing, bottom fishing inshore trolling, and heading offshore trolling targeting Mahi Mahi.
The seaweed has been a big challenge while constantly clearing off the lines and baits, Especially during the months of July and August seaweed travels along the South Eastern seaboard from the tip of the Keys to North Florida. When the weed is lined up facing north and south best to approach the cleaner and offshore side of the weed line.
This will allow for clean spreads and properly swimming baits while trolling the weed line. The trolling spread consisted of two teasers, two deep planner lines, two short rigger lines, and two long rigger lines with a pitch bait ready to toss if a fish is in the spread. Fishing an additional teaser line adds a string of squids or a daisy chain of lures in the water without hooks.
I like having a live well with pilchards or Ballyhoos. Having a spinner ready to cast out a live bait rig whenever there is a pallet or raft of weed that has formed into a sizable 10 by 10 area. Sometimes the Mahi will be under the raft of weeds and won’t come out unless there is a live Pilchard swimming around which will certainly excite any Mahi.
When heading offshore I am always searching for birds, weed lines, and any floating debris. When departing from Port Everglades out of Fort Lauderdale I head anywhere from 120 to 150 degrees offshore and most times run the boat until we reach 700 or 800 feet of water. Then it’s all about finding the Frigate bird, the floating debris, or the weed line.
If the Frigate bird is circling an area, get below the bird and troll your baits until you get a bite, also being ready with live bait to pitch under the Frigate bird and you’ll be hooked up with a Mahi Mahi. Additionally while offshore trolling for Mahi Mahi there is a great chance to come across a nice-sized Wahoo. 9 out of 10 of my Wahoos are captured on the deep planner lines with the sea witch.
These fish hit hard and pull a lot of drag. When hooked up they will shake their heads violently and stay deep the entire fight. On an occasion, they will break the surface and spray water as if a cannonball just hit the water. When gaffing these fish be careful when they are in the boat with their razor-sharp teeth ripping around, give them some distance.
I am also trolling the reef in shallower water from 100 out to 400 feet of water for King Mackerel, Bonita, Barracuda, Mahi, Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, and Sailfish. Fishing the reef is good action and planning fishing can be very exciting when the rod is getting constant strikes and hits. Especially when the King Mackerel and Bonita bite is on and they are coming through the area, its not uncommon to have multiple strikes on the deeper lines and surface lines.
King Mackerel are edible, not bad, certainly not my favorite but when cooked fresh they make for a decent meal. Unfortunately, Bonita are not edible and make excellent bait, but not for consumption. Of course when it comes to Mahi mahi, Tuna, and Wahoo they are on the top of the list for the finest fish to eat.
I am also trolling over wrecks, reef, and the drop off searching for schools of fish. Once I get a strike I will work over the area making turns back and forth trying to get a second and third bite.
Whenever the current is moving to the North bottom fish will congregate up the current and around the wreck. I will bridle a live bait to a circle hook with a long leader and send the bait to the bottom of the wreck,
bring the bait up 50 feet so as not to snag the wreck, and ride the current passing over the wreck. Many times the fish will feed up current to right on top of the wreck and when we are hooked into the fish I will pull the boat away from the wreck to help get the fish away from the structure.
A combination of live baiting, offshore and inshore trolling, and wreck fishing will make for an exciting fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale.
The charter boat Happy Day Today is a 52’ Hatteras sport fish and we do have ice, coolers, a fridge, a freezer, AC, fishing tackle, and licensing.
Inshore trolling – To book a deep-sea fishing charter contact Capt. Dave Zsak at 954-439-8106.