Since the beginning of Autumn, the Sailfish bite has been good. Temperatures cooling a little bit and wind speed picking up has brought more and more Sailfish traveling through the Fort Lauderdale fishing area. We have been catching Sailfish using a few different techniques - trolling Ballyhoo and strip bait spread along the reef, kite fishing with live bait and slow trolling live bait.

Reef fishing has been productive, trolling the baits along the reef heading up and down the drop off. I look for any current changes, rips or birds to fish. Mixed in, we are also catching Black Fin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, Bonita and some King Mackerel. We are fishing anywhere from 70 feet of water on the top of the reef out to the drop off in 400 feet of water, which is about 3 miles off the Fort Lauderdale beach. Trolling allows us to cover ground, meaning, fishing our baits over a couple of miles of good fishing territory. We will fish over structures and sunken shipwrecks and anything that looks “promising”.

Kite fishing is a great way to fish live baits. It is a visual thrill for the angler to see live bait on the surface of the water attracting and catching surface feeding predators. It is also very interactive for the anglers, since they have to maintain the bait on the surface by giving the bait more or less line. Sailfish cannot resist a live Goggle Eye, Threadfin Herring or Mullet when positioned just right. With the kites flying up in the air, the baits are allowed to freely move, looking natural. A lot of the time I will see the Sailfish before he feeds, knowing which bait he is on, so the mate is ready to feed the fish. After the Sailfish starts moving off, the mate will reel the line tight, hooking the Sailfish. When the kite fishing gets really good off Fort Lauderdale, we see Mahi Mahi, King Mackerel, Sailfish and Tuna hitting the baits, making it great kite action and fun for everyone.

Slow trolling baits is also a great technique for all species. Using live Ballyhoo or Bullet Bonita, we will fish a spread of 4 baits on the surface and one down 50 feet on a down rigger ball. Ideally, we fish live baits out of the riggers when the seas are calmer, the wind is not blowing, and there is little to no seaweed. Slow trolling baits allows us to move the baits around, since we are engaging the engines. Again, a great way to target all species, especially, Sailfish.

If you are looking to book a deep-sea fishing charter for friends and family give us a call at Top Shot Sportfishing. Contact Captain Zsak. - 954-439-8106 or email us at Website:

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Owner/ Captain Tom Zsak