Fort Lauderdale

138 Fishing Charters

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Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale fishing charters open up a world of options. Calm canals, remote reefs, and even the warm currents of the Gulf Stream are within easy reach of the city. Local captains make the most of all of this, with trips to suit every group.
 
The main targets inshore are Snook and Tarpon. Both fish put up a real fight, making them a favorite of fly fishers and sporting anglers. Farther out, you can bottom fish for Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, and more around the reefs. All these fish are here year-round, but the best time to target them is in the summer.
 
Finally, the bluewaters. Most charters in Fort Lauderdale specialize in trolling and kite fishing offshore. Sailfish, Tuna, Marlin, and more tag each other out throughout the year. Sailfish are great in winter and spring, Marlin peak in summer. In the fall, Swordfishing is all the rage. Whenever you visit, you can hook a monster. 
 
Inshore charters fish calm waters right in town, while reef fishing trips head into the ocean. Both are great for beginners, but young kids may be better off inshore. Deep sea charters are designed for seasoned anglers. If you’re after big Billfish, you’re best off on a full day charter. However, the sea gets deep so quickly that all these trips are available as half or full days. That’s part of what makes Fort Lauderdale special.

Rules & Regulations

You don’t need a fishing license on saltwater charters in Fort Lauderdale. You do need one to target freshwater species like Bass, though. Be aware that Snook are release-only from December 15 to January 31 and June 1 to August 3. Most Grouper species are protected between January 1 and April 30. Lastly, Tarpon are catch-and-release all year round.

Fort Lauderdale
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Fort Lauderdale Fishing Seasons

January

January may be Fort Lauderdale's coldest month, but the fishing is hot. Often, the worse the weather, the better the fishing. Windy conditions get Sailfish biting like crazy. Swordfishing can be very good.

February

February is the month of the Wahoo in Fort Lauderdale. This means fast trolling and faster action. Look out for Blackfin Tuna 'busting' schools of baitfish over reefs and make the most of the awesome Sailfish bite.

March

Spring is Fort Lauderdale's best fishing season. Troll, bottom fish over shipwrecks, fish over the reefs with live bait - everything is biting. Mahi Mahi arrive close to shore when the east winds blow. Kingfish and Amberjack are caught at the reefs.

April

The great spring bite continues, with wreck fishing getting better and better. Mahi Mahi are biting extremely well in relatively shallow water (200-300 ft). The rougher the weather, the better the fishing for this species.

May

Mahi Mahi continue to bite within a few miles of the coast, with Blackfin Tuna also red hot. Amberjacks are caught over wrecks in waters 200-300 ft deep. This is usually the beginning of the open Grouper season.

June

The reefs are the place to go at this time of year. Catch Kingfish and Tuna here as well as Bonito, which are migrating along the coastline. This is also one of the best times to catch Sharks in Fort Lauderdale.

July

The weather heats up, but that doesn't put a stop to the fishing. This is one of the best months for Snapper and Grouper fishing, particularly at night. Trolling for Bonito and Kingfish over the reefs is very successful.

August

The seas are calm and tranquil, with surface temperatures being very hot. This makes deep drop fishing offshore a very good choice, with deeper dwelling fish being less affected by the temperature change further up.

September

Temperatures usually start to cool by the end of the month, inviting a greater number of surface fish. Sailfish might start showing up, with Kingifsh still being active over the reefs. Tarpon is great inshore.

October

As the weather transitions to Fall, winds tend to pick up. This brings pelagics closer to shore, with fishing for Mahi Mahi and Sailfish being very good, and a great variety of pelagics biting over the reefs.

November

Sailfish start to settle in earnest nearshore, chasing schools of mullet through Fort Lauderdale's famous 'Sailfish Alley'. Bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper is excellent, with a host of species crowding the reefs.

December

Winter is not something that should put you off fishing in Fort Lauderdale. You can expect a good bite from Sailfish and Mahi Mahi nearshore, with Tuna, Wahoo, Cobia, and Amberjack around the reefs.

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Fort Lauderdale

Fishing with Dennis
Jeff H. fished with Miami/Everglades Boat Tours on March 12, 2020
Go with a pontoon boat for safer & more comfortable fishing in the Everglades
Half day trip with JP
Warren C. fished with Bass Whisper Guide – Fort Lauderdale on February 20, 2020
Be patient and choose a hot sunny day! Rain seems to kill the action.
Half day trip
Mark H. fished with Captain Andy – Party Boat Fishing on August 1, 2019
Be patient. Could be great one day then slow the next.
Half day trip with Captain's Pauly and Bobby.
Robert F. fished with New Lattitude Sportfishing Charters on July 25, 2019
Make this trip a priority. Bring lots of drinks, snacks, and dramamine just in case.
3/4 day with the boys
Jimmy G. fished with All Good Charters on July 15, 2019
Check the weather prior too. Pay attention to the moon cycle. Precheck the limitations and required sizes allowable to keep.
July fishing trip
Mark G. fished with YB Normal on July 4, 2019
Do an AM half day to avoid some of the heat
June fishing trip
Katana B. fished with Captain Andy – Party Boat Fishing on June 29, 2019
My family had a blast! Only a couple of fish caught but the experience was great!
June fishing trip
Scott C. fished with All Good Charters on June 24, 2019
Go offshore, even in small boats. The fishing is incredible.

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