James and Coleen Novara along with their son, Ryan, chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing charter boat team for a private deep sea charter boat sport fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  As they boarded the boat, they were greeted by Captain Zsak and mate, Russ, from the Top Shot Sportfishing Charter Boat Team.

Fifteen to twenty minutes after leaving the dock, lines were in 120 ft. of water at the sea buoy in Fort Lauderdale, 1.8 miles from shore.   If you venture off another ¼ of a mile, you would find yourself in 500 ft. of water, which we exclusively have here in Fort Lauderdale, due to Fort Lauderdale’s extreme drop off.   The further north you go, the further the drop off swings off shore. 

We started trolling using two deep lines with bait strips and 3 surface lines with Ballyhoo.  We trolled from 100 feet of water out to 300 feet of water heading to the south of Fort Lauderdale fishing up the current edge and back over the reef looking for birds and baitfish.  We got our first bite in 130 ft. of water which was a 10 lb Bonita.  We kept on trolling and caught a few 10 lb Kingfish. The next fish we caught was a Bonita.  We were trolling over wrecks and rock piles along the reef line with the best area to fish in 150 ft. of water.  

We next decided to live bait fish, which is a very effective method to target all species.  We put up two kites with 4 live baits and one Shark line.  The boat was drifting with the north current outside the reef edge.  The Shark line started screaming out, and we had a big one on.  Ryan started angling this fish, and we had him on for 30 minutes.  After a great fight, Ryan got this 7 foot Bull Shark up to the boat.  Russ wired it, pictures were taken and the Bull Shark was released. 

I positioned the boat back on the edge and into the right depth and went back to kite fishing with the 4 live baits.  It did not take long before we had a Sailfish show up to the short kite bait.  The Sailfish swam around the bait, fed, and we were hooked up to the Sailfish. This Sailfish made 180 degree jumps showing its magnificent colors.  James was the angler, and he got the Sailfish to the side of the boat; pictures were taken and the Sailfish was released.  

We set up again, and had a second and third Sailfish feeding on our baits.  This time Colleen was the angler, and she reeled in each of the Sailfish.   We went back to kite fishing, and we had a big explosion on the long bait.  After a long and hard fight, up popped a 25 pound Black Fin Tuna.  Russ reached down and gaffed the Tuna and put it into the fish box.  We went back to the current edge drifting north of Fort Lauderdale with the full spread of kites.  This time our rigger line came ripping out of the release clip, and we had a nice Mahi Mahi on.  This fish jumped and put on a good show right until the first mate gaffed it and put him into the fish box. 

With 1 Bull Shark, 3 Sailfish, 1 big Tuna, 1 Mahi and a few Bonitas and Kingfish, it was time to head back to the dock.  

Fish Species: Mixed/Sailfish
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About The Author: Captain Tom Zsak

Company: Happy Day Today

Area Reporting: Fort LauderdaleFl.

Bio: owner Capt Tom Zsak, Happy Day Today Charter boat in Fort Lauderdale Fl.started in 1980 caption for 35 years

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Tom Zsak