Posts Tagged ‘deep sea fishing’

Ft. Lauderdale Fishing Forecast – Jan -

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


As the Northeast coast braces for another blizzard beginning tonight, South Florida is enjoying some of the most beautiful weather we’ve had in quite some time. Presently as I write this post the air temp is 83 degrees and the sun is shining bright. The water temp is a comfortable 73 degrees. The breeze is a gentle 7 kts out of the SE. and seas are about 2ft. All this will change though as the next cold front approaches. Upon the arrival of the Northerly winds our temperatures will plunge as well, and this will once again signal the onset of some of the best Sailfishing all year. These sailfish will be feeding on schools of baitfish migrating South and will very interested when they see our frisky live bait suspended from our kite above. These kite baits will appear perfect to the wary sailfish as the hook, leader and line will be out of sight to the sailfish below. As the sailfish engulfs the baitfish we will often see his whole head and bill poking out of the water. We  will wait patiently feeding the fish more line so that he doesn’t sense anything is amiss. Then when he begins to move off we will put the reel in gear and reel like mad as the line comes free from the release clip and the fight is on. The sailfish will usually begin a series of spectacular acrobatic  jumps that he is so famous for in an attempt to spit the hook. After a long battle of give and take between sailfish and tired angler, the fish usually is led to the boat where he is lifted aboard for a quick measurement and photo. He is then revived by holding him alongside the boat as the boat moves through the water. This forces water and oxygen through his gills and soon off he goes to fight another day.   

These are some of the Sailfish caught aboard the “Lady Helen” (by some very happy anglers) in December.

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Laurier Plante from Montreal, Canada

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Bruce Kaufman from New York

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Mam Carlson from Macon GA.

001Ken Lett from Lorton VA.

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.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Broward Fishing Tournament

Friday, June 12th, 2009


The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County held it’s 30th annual fishing tournament this past Saturday, June 6th 2009. Fishing out of Bahi Mar Marina located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This fishing tournament has been headed up by Mr John Weller since it’s inception 30 years ago. Mr Weller was honored at this years captains meeting for all the dedicated effort he has provided over the years to make this event a success for Big Brothers Big Sisters. This years tournament began with beautiful weather and calm seas. A perfect day for introducing children to the sport of deep sea fishing. Unfortunately the charter boat “Lady Helen” was not able to participate in this years event as she is in the boat yard for a total refit of all systems. Luckily my good friend Brian Stoner of Cape Anne Towing came to the rescue by graciously offering the use of his 34′ Hatteras, “Old Hat” to fill in for the day. Captain Brian and myself picked up our crew of kids and headed out Port Everglades Inlet. Shortly thereafter lines were in the water as we trolled South along the reef line. Anticipation amongst the kids was high as most had never caught a large salt water fish before. This would be corrected in short order as the deep rod went off and a fish was on! Brianna Osmond of Pompano Beach was the first to man the rod and she reeled as hard as she could. Little by little she worked a nice kingfish to the boat for the first fish of the day. The second fish came as the outrigger clip released and line came screaming of the reel. This time a big Bonita had taken the trolled ballyhoo and provided a good fight for Christina Osmond. Once the Bonita was boated and released attention was back to the deep rod as again it was getting allot of action. Jayson Carrol and 10 year old Blaise Osmond each caught a Kingfish. Prior to this Kingfish the biggest fish Blaise had caught was a 6″ puffer fish. It was about time to head towards the dock for the awards ceremony and pizza party. Blaise wanted to try some bottom fishing on the way back so we stoped for a couple of minutes on the reef and caught several bottom fish including a Red Grouper caught by Brianna Osmond. We reeled in the lines quickly and headed in as the sky was getting very dark. We almost made it back to the dock but unfortunately the rain storm caught up with us and we all got a bit soaked. Anyway we all had a great time and I look forward to having the kids back aboard next year.

Christa Osmond fishing with Big Brother Big Sisters

Christa Osmond fishing with Big Brother Big Sisters

 

Brianna Osmond and Grouper caught with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Brianna Osmond and Grouper caught with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Christa Osmond, Jayson Carroll, and Blaise Osmond fishing with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Christa Osmond, Jayson Carroll, and Blaise Osmond fishing with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Wahoo and Dolphin (mahi) top catches in May

Thursday, May 28th, 2009


Some of the most recent catches brought to the dock aboard the “Lady Helen” included some nice Dolphin and Wahoo. Jud Erway of Deerfield Beach, Florida was the first to grab the rod when a 40lb Wahoo hit a orange and black Illander ballyhoo combination trolled way back behind a big bird teaser. This teaser was causing quit a commotion at the waters surface and when Juds Wahoo came to check it out he couldn’t resist sucking in the rigged bait that followed behind. His Wahoo made a couple of blistering runs before finally coming to the boat and finding a place in the fish box.

Jud Erway holds his Wahoo for the camera

Jud Erway holds his Wahoo for the camera

 Once again the birds were key to finding Dolphin (mahi) this month. On many of the trips that we ventured offshore in search of Dolphin the ocean was void of any sargassum weed. Sargassum weed is what makes up the weedlines that fishermen follow to deploy thier trolling baits in hopes of encountering a school of Dolphin. In absence of these weedlines one must find birds or floating debris in order to increase the chance of locating fish. We were fortunate to have had the help of several Frigate birds to point us in the direction of the hungry Dolphin. After following these birds sometimes for many miles, your patience is usually rewarded with a strike from the fish below that the Frigate bird has been shadowing. Posted below are some of the latest Dolphin (mahi) and Wahoo that were caught aboard the “Lady Helen”.
Alex Stimphil with nice Dolphin

Alex Stimphil with nice Dolphin

Jeff Hophan of Coral Springs landed this cow Dolphin (mahi)

Jeff Hophan of Coral Springs landed this cow Dolphin (mahi)

Dave Katz of Weston, Florida caught Dolphin offshore and kingfish inshore.

Dave Katz of Weston, Florida caught Dolphin offshore and kingfish inshore.

Peg and Don Clifford caught this double header of Wahoo off Ft. Lauderdale.

Peg and Don Clifford caught this double header of Wahoo off Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Ft. Lauderdale Fishing Forecast – May-

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009


If I had to pick a favorite month to fish in South Florida the Month of May would win hands down. May provides us with some of the best fishing opportunities with the most species of any month of the year. Early in the month we generally see a strong run of Sailfish that are heading north for the summer. These fish have been wintering in the Keys and will provide us with our last really good opportunity to hook up with a spindlebeak. we will always have a resident group of sailfish that call Fort Lauderdale home through out the summer but nowhere near the numbers of the Fall, winter, and spring. The type of fishing that I most enjoy in May is Dolphin or Mahi- Mahi fishing. This month is one of the best months for Dolphin fishing in the entire year. Dolphin will be caught in close live bait fishing as well as trolling offshore. As we move later into the season it will require venturing further offshore to find the dolphin and become more of a hit or miss affair. Also caught while live baiting this month will
be some Blackfin Tunas, Cobias, Mutton Snappers, Groupers, Amberjacks, amongst others. The last week of April brought with it some very windy weather that kept the “Lady Helen” tied to the dock. This strong wind blowing from the East for days on end did bring lots of fish close to shore. The first day we were able to get out and fish we had a non stop bite in 140 ft of water. On a short fishing trip we caught a couple Sails, 5 Dolphin and several Kingfish before heading for the calm waters inside the jetty. The beginning of May is looking good weather wise and the bite is on. Book a trip now and get out on the water when the weather and fishing is the best.

Mark Mineo caught this Sailfish that was heading North for the summer.

Mark Mineo caught this Sailfish that was heading North for the summer.

The Kids Are Catching All The Fish

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


Fishing has been getting better as the springtime bite returns to South Florida. I have had the privilege of having some very fine young anglers aboard the “Lady Helen” the past several trips, and they have reeled in some very nice catches to be proud of. Some of the latest trips included Fernando Grecco of Coral Springs fishing with his son Nick and friend Joe McChrystel.  Jake and Lexi Novacek fishing with their parents Tom and Jennifer. Alex Mies fishing with his dad Mike. Justin and Aaron Stolinski along with parents Bruce and Denise. Ally MacConchie fishing with her dad Bruce MacConchie.

Nick Grecco and Joe McChrystel with nice Mahi-Mahi

Nick Grecco and Joe McChrystel with nice Mahi-Mahi

Jake Novacek had himself a good fight on his hands with this big Bonita.

Jake Novacek had himself a good fight on his hands with this big Bonita.

Lexi Novacek had lots of fun reeling up Groupers on the reef.

Lexi Novacek had lots of fun reeling up Groupers on the reef.

Alex Mies and his dad Mike with a limit of Kingfish.

Alex Mies and his dad Mike with a limit of Kingfish.

Justin Stolinsky displays his Kingfish caught offshore Ft. Lauderdale.

Justin Stolinsky displays his Kingfish caught offshore Ft. Lauderdale.

Ally and Bruce MacConchie with a Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi) caught trolling offshore.

Ally and Bruce MacConchie with a Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi) caught trolling offshore.

Ft Lauderdale Fishing Forecast – April -

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009


As we progress into the month of April we will usually see a dramatic increase in the number of dolphin (mahi-mahi) schools found offshore. We will begin to see more weedlines forming due to the switch to our more prevailing S.E. wind pattern. April will also have it’s share of windy days as well, making it uncomfortable to venture very far offshore in search of the fishy looking areas to deploy the bait spread. These  windy days will be a perfect opportunity for live bait kite fishing at the drop-off to the 3rd reef. This drop-off ouccurs only 1.5 miles offshore making it a good option on windier days. Kitefishing will bring its share of sailfish, as they migrate this month and next. As the bait moves North the predators will be close at hand ready to pick off their next meal. This is also the time of year to find the big cow and bull dolphin in the live bait spread as well. Wreck fishing on any of  Fort Lauderdale’s artificial reefs will be good for Amberjack and barracuda as well.  On my last trip we dropped a few live baits down on a wreck off Hollywood Beach. Brent Longenecker of Springfield, MO  hooked up immediately. After a brief fight I began to see coming up from the depths below the silver outline of a decent size Kingfish. I went for the gaff and when I got back I saw a big slob Barracuda following up the hooked Kingfish. The Barracuda could resist no longer and attacked the hapless King and chopped him clean in half about 3 feet from the boat. I re-hooked the half of Kingfish we had left, and freelined him back down towards the wreck. Sure enough a couple of seconds later Brent is hooked up again , this time to the big Cuda. Brent had all he could handle with this guy but did a great job bringing him to the boat. We carefully lip gaffed the cuda and hoisted him aboard for a quick photo. We then released him and watched him slowly swim off to the wreck below. 

Brent Longenecker with Barracuda he caught wreckfishing off Hollywood Beach.

Brent Longenecker with Barracuda he caught wreckfishing off Hollywood Beach.

  Fishing the bottom for Red Groupers has been very good, but it is difficult to find the keeper size fish. Currently  Red  Groupers need to be 20” to take and most are in the 17”-19” range. These fish are still a great fight and the red hot bite provides plenty of fun for everyone.

Amanda and Brent Longenecker catch Groupers at the same time.

Amanda and Brent Longenecker catch Groupers at the same time.

 

 

                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springtime bite heating up in Ft. Lauderdale

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009


Springtime is my favorite season of the year for fishing in Ft. Lauderdale. Although it is still very early in the season, I have definitely noticed an increase in the numbers of some of our targeted species. As we progress further into the season the action will continue to pick up and become consistent. Kingfishing has already improved as and we catching them on most every trip now. Dolphin Mahi – Mahi are being caught in close to shore as well as offshore when sea conditions allow us to venture out in search of the feeding schools. Blackfin Tuna are starting to move into the area as well. This past week I took out Dan & Carol Bell along with their friends Gayle & Don Banks from Kansas. They were spending the day fishing before boarding Carnival Cruise Lines at Port Everglades for a Caribbean cruise. Dan is a hunting guide back home in Kansas, and provides his clients with some of the best hunting the state has to offer. If you like to hunt check out his website at www.bellwildlife.com  I was especially interested in hearing about Dan’s involvement with Pass It On – Outdoor Mentor Program. Teaming up with Big Brothers Big Sisters Pass It On finds mentors for children who want to experience the great outdoors. Dan and his party had a great day on the water catching Dolphin (Mahi – Mahi) and Kingfish. Fishing around the Tenneco artificial reef off Hollywood Beach, Dan hooked up on a nice Wahoo. Just as the fish came to the surface a few feet from the boat we saw his unmistakable neon blue stripes as he shook his head and spit the spoon back at us while he went on about his way. I don’t know who was more disappointed Dan or I, as I hate to loose one that close to the boat.

Don & Gayle Banks with friends Carol & Don Bell

Don & Gayle Banks with friends Carol & Don Bell

Yesterday the weather was windy and rainy for Kiel Pierce, Tommy Pierce, Greg Cameron and Dwayne Bell. We started out kitefishing off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale in about 350′ of water. A soon after a Dolphin (mahi – mahi) was seen chasing the short kite bait. Out of the release clip the line pops and Greg is hooked up. After a short fight the Mahi is put in the box. A couple of minutes later the short kite bait again gets hit and Greg is on again this time a large Barracuda is landed. After another drift without any hits we decide to troll the reef line. Trolling seems to be the ticket and we put a few Kings in the boat. About this time we decide to head further offshore to look for Dolphin (Mahi – Mahi). Rain is now moving in and everyone is huddled under the hardtop looking for shelter. Of course that’s when the Blackfin Tuna hits. Kiel grabs the trolling rod and fights his fish out in the driving rain. Kiel has the tuna hooked good and he is gaffed and dropped into the box. Tuna steaks are on the menue tonight. We head for the inlet after a great day of  Ft. Lauderdale  fishing.

Greg Cameron holds a big Barracuda he caught kitefishing

Greg Cameron holds a big Barracuda he caught kitefishing

Make A Wish Foundation fishing trip with Jackie Simkin & Dane Hershberg

Sunday, March 15th, 2009


This past Saturday I had the pleasure of having Jackie Simkin and her fishing buddy Dane Herchberg aboard the “Lady Helen” for a half day of fishing. Jackie had been so kind as to support the Make A Wish Foundation by bidding on this trip at the foundations annual gala. Saturday was another picture perfect South Florida day although a little breezy. Jackie had mentioned that she was a bit unsure of her tolerance to the days sea conditions. After picking up our live bait I suggested we take a look at the mouth of the inlet so she could decide if we would fish inside in the calm waters or go for it on the outside. After a brief look-see just outside Port Everglades inlet we decided to make a u-turn and fish the calm inshore waters instead. We pulled up to one of my favorite flats to slow troll some live pilchards along the sandy edge of the the ships channel. This area is a favorite haunt of hungry barracudas eager to ambush helpless baitfish being whisked by in the strong current. I hooked a live bait through the nose and flipped it behind the boat and handed the spinning rod to Jackie. Before I could get the second rod out I hear jackie let out a scream as the rod bent over and the line began screaming off the reel. Jackie immediately set up on the fish and just as she did the line went slack. She learned the first lesson in live bait fishing and that is you must allow the fish time to catch the live bait and then eat it before setting up on it. Luckily the bite was on and we were hooked up again as soon as the next bait hit the water. After a couple of misses both Jackie and Dane got the technique down pat and began bringing fish after fish into the boat for a quick photo and release back to the channel below. Jackie, Dane and myself all enjoyed a great day on the water while benefiting a good cause at the same time. I look forward to the next opportunity to fish with Jackie and Dane in the future.

Jacki Simkin holds her toothy barracuda for the camera

Jacki Simkin holds her toothy barracuda for the camera