A group from North Carolina chartered an all-day fishing trip with 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. We had nice deep-sea conditions out of Fort Lauderdale with a light easterly wind, a two-foot chop, north current and 80-degree temperature.

We started the fishing charter catching a half a dozen Bullet Bonitas in 80 feet of water, using a light feather jig with a bird, and trolling on and off the reef structure. Bullets make great baits for all fish species, and we decided to fish them on top of a wreck structure. We headed south for a few miles and came across Frigate birds, which were circling over a deep-sea wreck, with some diving into the baits. On the surface, Ballyhoo baits were showering on the surface - always a great sign.

The first baits went out on wire with stinger rigs. Wire rigs are the best when it comes to fish with sharp teeth, such as King Mackerel, Barracuda, Wahoo and Sharks. We sent one bait down 50 feet on a down rigger ball and had three baits on the surface. The first fish caught was a nice King Mackerel that smoked the deep bait, hit hard and pulled a lot of drag. Our angler from North Carolina did a good job working the fish up, and the first mate gaffed it and put it right in the box. The next bite we got was also on the down rigger, a Black Grouper. He put up a great fight, but with them being out of season (January through end of April), we released the Grouper.

I was making turns around the wreck, when we saw a big Smoker King Mackerel try to feed on one of the baits and completely missing it, leaving a hole in the water; it jumped 10 feet in the air with the surface bait in his mouth. Line snapped out of the outrigger, and we had fish on. The line smoked off the reel, and our anglers started working him up. After a good fight, we got the Kingfish up, and the first mate gaffed him and put him in the box.

Next, we decided to kite fish using two kites with live Goggle-eye baits. In addition to flying two kites, we also sent down a Shark bait. We used circle hooks with #19 wire and a two pound weight. I was positioned facing the boat to the east, and the current was moving us at one knot to the north. A Sailfish came up on the live bait and fed the fish, then reeling right and hooking up the Sailfish. What a great show - This Sailfish jumped a half dozen times making big runs. The angler was on point, easing the fish up, and after a battle on light weight tackle, the Sailfish was up alongside the boat. The first mate reached down, removed the hook and after a quick photo, we released the Sailfish back into the water.

Time for trolling, so we got out a couple deep planner lines with sea witch lures running about 50 feet down with 4 surface ballyhoos. In 175 feet of water, there was a subtle color change. I trolled up the drop off, going from 150 feet of water out to 250 feet of water, concentrating on the color change in 175 ft. Suddenly, the deep planner line went off, ripping off the line. The mate backed off the drag, and our anglers started fighting this one. We all had the feeling that, with such a big hit and as much drag as it was pulling, it was probably a Wahoo. We call Wahoos head shakers, and this one was doing that exactly. We got him up on the wire, and it turned out to be a nice Wahoo. When bringing him up to the boat, he gave us a couple of scary runs, losing some line on the wire and slowly gaining it back. The first mate reached out and stroked the Wahoo in the head and brought him into the boat.

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.

For a successful and adventurous deep-sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale FL for Sailfish, Shark, Bonito, Mackerel, Swordfish, Snapper, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Grouper, contact Captain Zsak. - 954-439-8106 or email us at captdz@gmail.com Website: www.topshotfishing.com.

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Owner/ Captain Tom Zsak