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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Forecast – Dec -

Friday, November 11th, 2011


Dr. Stu Dessner catches his first sailfish.

Dr. Stu Dessner catches his first sailfish.

This upcoming sailfish season should be one of the best seen here in years. Judging by early catches from the beginning of November, sailfish are already arriving in Broward County in large numbers. We have been hooking up on almost every trip since the beginning of November. As each new cold front arrives, the numbers of  hungry spindlebeaks swimming along Fort Lauderdale’s coastline will be ever increasing. There is no greater thrill than when a sailfish inhales a frisky live bait and launches himself airborne for a series of acrobatic leaps across the sea. When caught on light spinning tackle we often need to start up the boat and pursue the jumping fish before he spools all of our line from the reel. If you would like a chance to experience this thrill of a lifetime, choose a day during the next three months and come on down. Great action on dolphin (mahi-mahi) was also experienced this fall as well, and should continue into the winter. These dolphin normally found further from shore will be in close where the sailfish are caught during the winter months. Kingfish our old standby will provide us action while waiting for the sailfish bites. We have been having fun on the way out the inlet lately catching spanish mackerel as we troll by the rock jetty. These  fish are fun to catch and are good eating as well. This can be plan B when conditions offshore can’t be tolerated.

Ft. Lauderdale Fishing Forecast – July -

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010


Mark Thoreson catches current boat record Bull Dolphin of 56.5 lbs.

Mark Thoreson catches current boat record Bull Dolphin of 56.5 lbs.

Offshore fishing for Dolphin (mahi-mahi) becomes a hit or miss proposition during the summer months of July, August, and September. The Dolphin (mahi-mahi) fishing was outstanding this past Spring and stayed strong all the way into the beginning of July. Some of the best dolphin action I have seen in years was enjoyed this year. In fact the biggest Dolphin (mahi-mahi) ever caught aboard the “Lady Helen” was caught this past May. This Dolphin weighing in at 56.5 lbs. was caught by Mark Thoreson of Erie PA.  Marks Dolphin beat the long standing boat record for Dolphin of 49 Lbs. by 7.5 lbs. I’m sure one day some lucky angler aboard the “Lady Helen” will boat a big bull over 60 lbs. What makes Marks big bull even more impressive was that he caught it on a 20 lb. spinning rod.

 

Lindsay Grubel holds up a nice Kingfish for the camera.

Lindsay Grubel holds up a nice Kingfish for the camera.

 

Fishing  just offshore the reef line in 80′ to 300′ of water will be the plan when there are no signs of Dolphin offshore. Livebaits will not be passed up by hungry Bonitas, Kingfish, Tunas, and  the occasional Sailfish that resides in Fort Lauderdale. The reef is only 1.5 miles from shore so it is an easy run in when summertime afternoon thunderstorms approach.

 As usual the Big Brothers and Big Sisters fishing tournament was a big success this year. This year the weather cooperated and the kids all had a blast. This year the kids caught Kingfish, Barracuda, and lots of bottom fish on the reef. The “Lady Helen” always brings home the trophy, and this year was no different for the kids. I want to give a special thanks to Mr Les Pettit who  donates his time every year as mate for the day. Les makes sure all the kids have a great time and catch lots of fish.

 

Elijah Cole won a trophy with this 40" Barracuda in the Big Brothers Tournament.

Elijah Cole won a trophy with this 40" Barracuda in the Big Brothers Tournament.

When the seas are getting a little high we sometimes run for the shelter of the inlet at Port Everglades. Here where the waters are calm we can cast out our live baits along the channel edge. The edge of the channel becomes an excellent ambush point for predators seeking the hapless baitfish being flushed out with the current. Barracudas, Jack Crevelle, and an occasional Tarpon will inhale a live bait drifted along in the current.

 

Brian Finn catches a nice Tarpon in Port Everglades Inlet.

Brian Finn catches a nice Tarpon in Port Everglades Inlet.

Ft. Lauderdale Fishing Forecast – April -

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010


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John Round of Ft. Lauderdale catches nice Kingfish kite fishing.

My favorite time of year has finally arrived in South Florida. The Springtime fishing offshore Ft Lauderdale will provide some of the most exciting action all year. Each year as water temperature begins to rise schools of all types of baitfish will be moving  northward along the coastline. Many types of hungry gamefish will be feasting on these unsuspecting baits as if they are at an all you can eat buffet. Kingfishing has already seen a dramatic improvement in recent days as the numbers of fish in the area are building. Underneath these feeding schools of kings a bait can be fished near the bottom in hopes of tricking a mutton snapper that is feeding on the chopped up pieces that are falling from above. Blackfin tunas have been showing up as well since the beginning of April. These tunas will increase in size as we get further into the spring. Dolphin (mahi-mahi) action has yet to take off as of yet, but it will any day now. Most of the Dolphin (mahi-mahi) we’ve  seen so far have been scattered and relatively small in size. Having said that I just heard about a report from Capt. Dick Russell fishing on his boat “the brute”. Capt Dick reeled in a 48.5 lb Dolphin (mahi-mahi) in 500′ of water offshore Ft Lauderdale. April and May should also be better than normal for Sailfish as our longer  and colder than normal winter will have pushed more Sailfish south to the keys. These fish will be heading back north as well.

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Rupe Spraul (14) holds up a hard fighting Blackfin Tuna he caught.

The “Lady Helen” Back from major Overhaul

Thursday, February 18th, 2010


The ” Lady Helen” starts out the new Year with a totally refitted engine room. I have spent the last several months away from fishing and up to my elbows in grease down in the engine room. While I listen to the chatter on the VHF radio about multiple sailfish hookups and Dolphin attacking live baits out on the color change, I am one more turn of the wrench away from hearing the rumble of these rebuilt diesels coming to life. This past Thursday I was finally able to throw off the dock lines and point the ” Lady Helen”  towards the inlet  to begin her first sea trial. The weather was perfect and sunny as it had warmed up from the freezing temps earlier in the week. As we rounded the buoy and headed out the inlet the ocean was calm with a gentle swell. the sun was glistening on the beautiful deep blue gulfstream water that had pushed inshore. I pushed the throttles forward and was again gliding along on “Lady Helen” realizing how much I missed being out on the water
                     Recent work that I completed included gutting the entire engine room and bilge area. The engines were stripped down to bare blocks then hoisted out. The aft bulkhead was removed to allow the fuel tank located under the cockpit to be slid forward and be removed where the engines had been. Then all remaining wiring and plumbing were stripped out. Next the entire bilge area was steam cleaned and freshly painted.                  
Old Yanmar engine getting hoisted from engine room
Old Yanmar engine getting hoisted from engine room

 

Yanmar engine and gear ready for rebuilding.

Yanmar engine and gear ready for rebuilding.

 

Old diesel fuel tank removed through engine room.

Old diesel fuel tank removed through engine room.

The process was now reversed. First the fuel tank had to be redesigned and built with a notch cut out of the bottom in order to fit over the engine stringers. Then the tank was slid aft under the cockpit where it is bolted to the main stringers. I had to cut a piece out of the old tank out in order to remove it from the engine compartment.  Next a new bulkhead was installed between the tank and the engine room. The engine blocks and marine gears were reinstalled on the stringers. Then the remaining engine sub- assemblies were installed along with numerous wiring and plumbing upgrades. Finally as shown in the following photo the project is finished.

                                                                                                                           
Finished engines newly rebuilt

Finished engines newly rebuilt