Mason, Chilly, Austin, Issac, Allen and Dakota from Illinois chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing charter boat team for a private deep sea charter boat sport fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale, FL aboard the Happy Day Today.  As they boarded the boat, they were greeted by Captain Zsak and mate, Dave, from the Top Shot Sportfishing Charter Boat Team.   

We left the dock around 7:30 am, and on the way out we stopped and grabbed some Goggle Eyes. The east wind was blowing at 15 mph, and we had a light chop. Once we passed the Fort Lauderdale Port Everglades inlet, we headed north for about 3 miles. 

We started fishing over a reef and wreck area in 300 feet of water with two medium kites leaded to fly to the right and left, giving the baits a spread. The first mate hooked the Goggle Eyes, and we set out the spread of two right and two left baits. We also had a bottom rod with a half of a dead fish, which we sent down hoping to hook an Amberjack or Grouper.  We had a light northerly current with the baits in perfect position when all of a sudden a huge explosion occurred on the right long live bait. I saw a big tail come out of the water then go crashing back down.  Our tackle was a Shimano TLD 25, and as soon as this fish took off, so did all of the line on the reel. As quickly as we could, we cleared the spread of live baits and the dead bait, getting the tackle in the boat. This fish was heading offshore - she started in 300 feet of water, and within an instant, we were in 400 feet with this torpedo going from the surface to deep while continuing to head offshore.  Mason, who had just turned 18, was our angler - this was his first deep sea saltwater fish he had ever fought, and he was doing a great job.  Mason kept up with the fish, and so did I, with the charter boat facing offshore. 

 At first glance the tail looked like a Tuna, and the size hole in the water matched what a large Tuna could produce.  Additionally, how this fish was making the long runs and sounding is exactly how big Tunas fight.  But still, we hadn’t seen the fish until about an hour of chasing this fish offshore. We came close to losing all of our lines multiple times, yet we were able to get it back and continually gained back more than what we were losing.  After another deep sound, she popped up right on the surface, and we saw a very big Tuna. At this point, we were in 600 feet of water, and Mason had been battling this fish for over two hours.  With most of the line on the reel and slowly gaining line, we were inching closer and closer to gaffing range. On the final death circle coming up to the boat, the mate reached out and stroked this Tuna in the head.  As soon as we had steel in the fish, I came flying off the bridge and got another gaff in the corner of the mouth.  I opened up the Tuna door, and in she came.  Mason did a great job as an angler, and whipped this fish good.  Over all she was 68” in total length weighing 160 pounds.

It was now time to head back to the dock.  The anglers retired into the a/c salon watching the plasma TV and enjoying the relaxing trip back to the dock at Bahia Bar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Blvd. Fort Lauderdale 33316. 


Fish Species: Tuna
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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