Top Shot Sportfishing Charters

Trolling

Trolling is one of the most productive methods and can produce the most amount of fish during your fishing adventure. What makes trolling so successful is the amount of area or ground covered. From the beginning of the trip till the end, the boat could potentially cover 10 to 20 nautical miles of area depending on the length of the trip. Some of the best days fishing in Fort Lauderdale have been trolling the ledge or drop off a few miles off the beach in 100 feet of water.

​Fishing the reef there are many structures such as sunken shipwrecks, rock ledges, coral heads, and shelves that rise from the sea floor. The fish will concentrate in and around the structure and will congregate up-current of the formation. When trolling the reef, we will normally head into the current and pick a direction to work. Depending on previous catches, the time of the year and sea conditions will determine which way to go. Our spread of baits consists of two deep lines and four surface lines. Throughout most of the year the deeper lines will have more strikes and produce more fish.

The types of fish we will see the most are but not limited to king mackerel, bonita, barracuda, wahoo, mahi mahi, blackfin tuna and sailfish. What makes inshore reef trolling so popular in the fishing industry among charter and private boats is the sheer number of fish it produces. Because of the fact we are fishing just two miles off the beach in crystal blue water with bait fish such as flying fish and mullets coming down the coastline makes it so attractive. It is not uncommon to catch mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna and sailfish all in just a half day four hour charter.

Trolling

A big benefit of trolling the reef is we can quickly change the targeted fish. For example, if we are fishing in 100 feet of water and see a color change or birds working offshore we can quickly adjust the boat speed and bait presentation now targeting different species and its all located in close proximity due to the drop off of the shelf.

We use sonar and navigation equipment to mark schools of fish. Using this technology, we will work the area shallow to deep from inshore to offshore staying on top of the fish and getting the most strikes possible.

Another benefit of trolling the reef is it allows us to quickly change methods because of the close proximity to anchored ships, sunken wrecks or a productive area. We can change tactics to kite, bottom, wreck, live bait or shark fishing and we normally try two to three different methods in a half day trip. Customers can interact and be involved with the rigging of the baits, gaffing fish and hooking the fish if they so desire.

The second type of trolling charter is offshore. Whenever we set our sights to heading offshore the main target fish is mahi mahi. Now they are not the only fish we are targeting, we will also catch Tuna, Wahoo and Sailfish. We will start trolling in 600 feet of water and head out to over 1,000′. We are looking for weedlines, floating debris and birds. Finding any one or all three will generate the most fish on an offshore trip. Many times the weed is scattered offshore and not organized which makes it difficult to fish. We are looking for a current edge or rafts of weed which is where the weed lines up making it possible to fish the edge from North to South. Floating debris can be any collection of wood, floats, boards, logs or anything that has been traveling offshore long enough to have schools of baitfish hiding under the debris. Birds are very important when trolling offshore. Find the birds and you will find fish, as the saying goes “birds are the best fishermen”. They will circle over a school of fish, diving to the surface almost hitting the water before flying back to the sky.

Trolling a spread of baits in front of a hungry mahi mahi is like nothing else and many times we will have double and triple headers on. The primary offshore current is traveling to the North at a few knots and we will troll into the current facing South. A lot of times when we hook a mahi mahi offshore there will be fish following, whenever this happens, we will have spinners ready to cast and having multiple fish on. The most important trick is to leave one fish in the water that is still on the line keeping the rest of the pack behind the boat. Then each person gets a spinner casting to the school of fish and we will use either cut bait or live bait.

In addition to mahi we will also catch sailfish. Many times we are trolling offshore and out of the blue here comes a pack of sailfish.

Trolling is a great way to have an action packed charter whether its inshore or offshore.

We tell our customers we will target the fish that have been biting the best as well as changing fishing styles to increase the catch at the end of the day.