A local group of anglers chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing team aboard the Happy Day Today for a half day deep-sea fishing trip.

We headed out of the inlet towards the local sea buoy and quickly caught a half dozen Blue Runners, which are good bait for wreck fishing. Thereafter, we started trolling the reef in 150 feet of water with 4 surface Ballyhoo baits and two deep planner lines. The deep planner lines ran down about 50 ft. in depth with long leaders behind the planners and two sea witch strip baits. We set a short and a long planner, staggering them to avoid any tangles. The long planner was the first one to get a hit, and the guys reeled in a nice King Mackerel. When the planner came up, he removed it and continued to reel it up until the mate reached over and gaffed the Kingfish, putting it into the fish box.

I continued trolling the reef heading up the line from deeper water to shallower water, fishing over structures. These fish will sometimes school up current of the structure. Suddenly, we had three outrigger lines come down at once and had a triple header Bonita. I started working the area going from deep to shallow, and we got planner and rigger bites consistently when making turns over the school of fish. This was steady fishing action, and the guys were having fun catching these fish weighing 8 to 15 pounds each. Every time the planner rod came up or one of the rigger lines came down, the guys got behind the rod fighting the fish, all of which were a mixed bag of King Mackerel and Bonita.

At this time, we were getting closer to a sunken shipwreck we frequently fish, and have been catching Amberjacks, Groupers and Snappers on these wrecks. The guys reeled in all the lines, and we got set up to make a live bait drop on the sunken ship. There are a lot of sunken shipwrecks located off Fort Lauderdale ranging from 50 feet out to 450 feet of water. The first mate rigged up a circle hook with a bridle, sewed the bait through the eye socket and attached a lead. Once we were positioned up current of the wreck, the mate slowly sent the bait down, not letting the bait spin up the line, and once he hit the bottom, came up 25 feet. It did not take long before we had a big bite. The rod bent over, and line started peeling off the reel. I drove the boat away from the wreck, not allowing the fish to get back into his hole, and our angler started fighting the fish - it was a good fight. The fish was pulling drag losing some line and the angler worked him back with just over 300 feet of line to reel in. The fish got up to the surface, and we could see it was a nice Amberjack. The first mate got the AJ in the boat, removed the hooks, and he vented the fish, letting the air out, so when released, he was able to swim back to the wreck.

While we were wreck fishing, I was watching a few birds offshore diving in an area. We got our trolling gear out and headed offshore to the birds. As soon as we made a pass on the birds, we had outrigger bites and Mahi Mahi’s were hooked up. These fish were lit up glowing with yellow, green and blue colors. The anglers fought the Mahi Mahi’s, and when they were in range for a gaff, the mate reached out and stroked them. We put lines back in the water, and while working the area, the rigger line came down, and we picked up another Mahi Mahi. Everyone on board was stoked, including myself, as it was a good morning fishing. I was running low on time, so I aimed the boat towards the inlet, and at a fast trolling speed, we removed one of the bigger planners and fished the #4 planner, which can be fished at a higher speed. Cruising into the current with all lines fishing, we got one last hit for the morning. The planner line popped up - we had a nice bite, and the angler started fighting the fish. The planner came off, and the mate, ready with gaff in hand, reached down and stroked a nice Black Fin Tuna; he threw him on ice - that was our last fish of the morning.

It took a short time to reach the dock, and once lines were tied up, we filet the Mahi Mahi’s and the Black Fin Tuna for the guys to take fresh fish home. To book a deep-sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale contact Capt. Zsak at (954) 439-8106 or email at captdz@gmail.com. Also check out our Facebook page or website at www.topshotfishing.com


Owner/ Captain Tom Zsak