Shark Fishing in Ft Lauderdale
When it comes to targeting a large and often readily accessible game fish Ft. Lauderdale fishing offers numerous shark species that can fill that order. Hammerheads, Makos, Thresher sharks, Spinners, Blacktips, and the notorious Bull Shark are all taken by Sportfishing charter boats here. These sharks are here and available because of the following: The vast majority of our sharks taken while fishing in Ft Lauderdale are caught within a couple of miles of our beaches, which means my charter boats can easily reach productive areas.
Our deepest coral reef is roughly one mile from shore and is a holding area for many varieties of food and fish which forms an active food chain that has primary predators at the top (e.g. sharks). We have a steady flow of good water moving thru which brings larger predatory fish (e.g. again sharks) into our Ft. Lauderdale fishing areas.
Many of these sharks hang on and around these reef lines and wrecks, while others continue their migration, swimming into the current, giving us and other boats fishing in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area a chance to set a stationary ambush site - the ever present current carrying the scent of our shark baits and chum slick over an ever expanding area. By staying stationary we remain in the sweet spot. Picture a funnel with us at the neck (narrow end) and our scent expanding down current (at the mouth of the funnel) and the merits of ocean current is obvious.
We fish both bead and live baits when fishing in Ft. Lauderdale for sharks. Our dead baits of choice are fresh large bonito, grey tilefish, and medium sized kingfish. Razor sharp forged hooks and wire leaders connected to 20 feet of “wind on” leader made of 400 pound test allow the mate to hang on when a large shark is brought within 25 feet of the boat. Some of the preferred live baits for Ft. Lauderdale shark fishing are large blue runners, rainbow runners and black or silver mullet, all fished with superior strength hooks.
Ft Lauderdale Shark Fishing Species
Hammerhead Sharks - This is a species available to Ft. Lauderdale fishermen in numbers far greater than anglers in the northeast. Typically less than seven feet in length, but often larger. The Hammerhead is an exceptionally strong fast moving shark full deserving of its reputation as a good fighter.
We take Hammerheads on live and dead baits fished anywhere in the water column. Surface kite fished baits are by far the most fun as you can watch the excited shark take the bait immediately behind the boat, dorsal fin and long upper lobe of the tail high above the surface and that distinguishing flat elongated head easily visible. Lots of fun and available with regularity for Ft. Lauderdale fishing enthusiasts.
Mako Sharks - A prize catch when fishing in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas, typically caught/seen in water of over 300 foot depths. When fishing in this depth and out to 500 feet most Makos are hooked on a dead bait fished on the bottom. Mid-range dead baits account for the majority of our other bites. Live and fresh dead baits at the surface get a minimum amount of attention from Mako sharks in this shallower water. We encounter Makos on our offshore Swordfish trips. They can be and are targeted here by incorporating shark baits along with our Swordfish baits.
We see them at or near the surface here and water depth is 900-1500 feet. The Mako will take a shark bait, a swordfish bait, and maybe unfortunately your hooked swordfish in this gulfstream arena. These sharks are an electric blue in color with a typically snow white underbelly. They are muscular and yet sleek with a pronouncedly pointed snout. Extremely long inwardly curing teeth and quite a large mouth coupled with an ability to make vertical somersaulting leaps makes the Mako shark a favorite of Fort Lauderdale fishing boats.
Thresher Sharks - These are truly open water/deep sea sharks. Never common, this shark is an incidental encounter when shark fishing in Ft. Lauderdale and Southeast Florida. Almost every Thresher hooked here is on dead bait fished directly on the bottom. Very few are taken by mid-depth baits and rarely seen in our chum line or on surface baits. The often almost gentle strike is a misnomer to the strong determined fight that follows. Occasionally hooked in the tail as a result of a violent tail slap of the bait by an interested Thresher. Have you ever heard anyone say “like a shark hooked in the tail”? If you hook one of these bruisers in the tail (which is roughly 1/3 of the sharks total length) and not that uncommon, it will be plainly strength against strength, and a war at boat side once you finally get him there. These bad boys typically come in nine to twelve foot lengths, sometimes larger. The Thresher sharks hooked while fishing in Ft. Lauderdale will on occasion jump high out of the water, twisting and spinning as he tries to dislodge the hook.
Reef Sharks - Bull sharks, Dusky, Spinner, Blacktip and Caribbean Reef sharks are all encountered by anglers fishing in Fort Lauderdale. Bull sharks have a sinister reputation in that they are linked to many shark attacks, especially along both of Florida’s coasts. We catch Bull sharks using our typical open water spread and we also target Bulls specifically on occasion. Bull sharks like to basically “take over” some inshore wrecks. This makes them “targetable” to charter boats fishing in Fort Lauderdale and areas typically just north. We know when they show up on these wrecks as they love to eat almost every bottom fish we hook before we can get it to the surface. We will then gear up for Mr. Bull Shark if you are up for a serious encounter. Heavy to almost fat, very smart, and an oversized business end with plenty of teeth, these sharks will move from wreck to wreck and then back again. Tough and dangerous sharks are typically over 200 pounds and often larger.
Caribbean Reef, Dusky and Blacktip sharks can be found on and in between our offshore reef lines and also just to the deepwater side of the drop off at the outside edge of the third reef. These sharks are usually less than six feet in length when encountered when fishing in Ft. Lauderdale. Spinner sharks are almost always less than five feet in length, five feet of dynamite. Ridiculously strong and powerful and characterized by twisting “spinning” leaps when hooked by our anglers (or just jumping for the fun of it all when not even hooked). We see them right at waters edge on our South Florida beaches. Schooling sharks spotted at Florida beaches could be a typical summer headline. We see them offshore in 300 feet of water on fall and winter days. Late July, August and September is a perfect time to catch them on certain wrecks. A great light tackle shark with a napoleon attitude.
Hammerheads on the reefs and offshore. Makos just offshore and on out into our deep sea Swordfish area. Target a fully grown Bull shark on his own turf, a Ft. Lauderdale fishing wreck site. Reef sharks inside on our coastal reefs. Catch an explosive Spinner shark wherever he shows himself. Fort Lauderdale shark fishing has lots to offer. Let us put you there.
Capt. Steve Souther
Capt. Rick Brady
Marlin My Darlin - Hands Down the Top Sport Fishing Outfit in Fort Lauderdale!