Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters
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Top Fishing Charters in Fort Lauderdale
Fishing in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale fishing is the number one proof of the theory that Southeast Florida just does not have a low season. With unusual proximity to the northbound Gulf Stream, the city is only a couple of miles away from nutrient-rich waters that are filled with pelagic fish. With numerous attractions close by to keep the family entertained, this is a city where you can fish for days on end and never have a dull moment.
As well as being enviously close to the bountiful waters of the Gulf Stream, Fort Lauderdale is famous for its rich coral reef system and numerous serendipitously-placed shipwrecks. This makes for a fishing haven, with Kingfish, Wahoo, Amberjack, Blackfin Tuna, and a whole list of other species living and feeding around these underwater honey holes. Whatever the season, you will find something to fish for, and the best Ft Lauderdale fishing charters will be able to take you to a variety of spots to show you the sheer variety of things happening of the city’s coastline all year round.
Fort Lauderdale is known by some as the “Sailfish Capital of the World”. The period from Fall through Spring sees huge numbers of Sailfish come just within a couple of miles of the city’s coastline. They come here via a passage of water known as “Sailfish Alley,” which passes just a mile offshore and has waters 120-180 ft deep. Located just beyond the reefs and on the inner edge of the Gulfstream, this is where almost all of Fort Lauderdale’s Sailfish are caught, with high season running from December to January. If you want a Sailfish selfie with a condominium in the background, this is the place for you.
Rules & Regulations
Florida fishing licenses are not required for those fishing from a guided or for-hire charter that owns a charter captain or charter boat license.
Types of Fishing
Drift fishing Fort Lauderdale’s reefs and shipwrecks for species such as Kingfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and even the occasional Sailfish is one of the most popular types of charter trips in the area. This is fun for anglers of all ability levels, and the sheer variety of fish available in these waters always makes it worthwhile.
Windy winter days can see incredible Sailfishing: get the kites out and set up your live bait to create a setup no Sailfish can resist. But don’t let the Sailfish have the monopoly over good-eating fish. Head offshore and bottom fish for Snappers and Groupers, or even set up your deep sea fishing gear for an irresistible Swordfish during the winter months.
Light tackle enthusiasts also have a myriad of opportunities inshore, with everything from Tarpon to Redfish inhabiting these waters according to the season.
Fort Lauderdale Fishing Seasons
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 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 last good Sailfish month.
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.
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.
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.
The reefs are the place to go at this time of year. Catch Kingfish and Tuna here as well as Bonito, which is migrating along the coastline. This is also one of the best times to catch Sharks in Fort Lauderdale.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
What People Are Saying About Fort Lauderdale
"Fishing with Captain Will"
Time of year mahi and snapper are running. Go fish
"AM Half Day Trip"
May and June are the best fishing months of the year
"Half day shared trip"
Do a little research about anglers fishing so you know what to expect. Make sure you eat what you catch. I cooked some of what we caught today and it was delicious. The taste of freshly caught fish is very different than previously frozen fish.
"not too bad for beginners or just some refreshing experience"
Try out the shorter fishing trip first and progress to more experienced one if you wish
Top Targeted Species in Fort Lauderdale
- Size 15 to 30lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Offshore
- Size 40 to 60lbs
- Food Value Low
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Offshore
- Size 10 to 20lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 15 to 35lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef