Sandwiched between Miami and Palm Springs along the east coast of Florida, Fort Lauderdale is a great place in the state to charter a fishing boat. From the Seven Isles area to the city beyond, the swampy coastline has been carved neatly so that practically every home has a road leading to the front door and a channel of water leading to the back. Most fishing charters depart from around Las Olas Beach or from the various moorings near the E Las Olas Boulevard.
Sport fishing from Fort Lauderdale can be done both on private charters or, more popularly for economic reasons, as part of a shared fishing charter. The common duration of a charter trip is around four hours, although anything up to eight hours is not unheard of either. Naturally, private charters are pricier but are much better options for those looking to catch specific fish or who want the privacy and undivided attention of your guide and captain. Here are five of the best Fort Lauderdale fishing charters.
FROM: $45/per person
Climb aboard the aptly named vessel the ‘Catch My Drift’ on this well-regarded four-hour drift fishing excursion. Once ready, you will head about a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale on this 85-foot air conditioned boat to reach the deep waters, which can reach around 150 feet in some part. Here, catch the inside edge of the Gulfstream current, where conditions are ideal for fishing. Depending on the time of year, wahoo, tuna, snapper, grouper and kingfish may bite, and for novices, there is expert one-to-one assistance available from the crew.
From $54/ per person
Another great drift fishing charter option is this similar four-hour excursion. Particularly popular with families and those taking their kids out on the ocean for a first fishing experience, you can select one of the three daily departure times, with drift fishing usually in the early morning or afternoon and nighttime anchor fishing also available. There is also an occasional six-hour excursion available. As with all of the Fort Lauderdale fishing charters on this list, all gear, tackle and bait are provided as part of the fee. The crew will clean and prep any catch you make so it’s ready for the grill back at home.
From $150/ per person
For a decent midway between a shared and private charter, this custom sportfish boat charter caps out at six people, so you can ensure you have less competition for your line. This trip heads away from Fort Lauderdale to fish the reefs and shipwrecks, with sailfish, amberjack, barracuda and other big game fish often present. They also offer the chance to catch sharks and dolphins, but don’t be that guy or gal. You’ve got to draw a decency line somewhere, particularly in these fraught ecological times! As with all fishing tours, bringing sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen is highly recommended.
From $500/ per group
It’s not all about the open ocean in Fort Lauderdale! Much of Florida is crisscrossed by a maze of backwater canals, rivers, swampland and lakes. These environments are ideal for fish, which is why there’s such a healthy natural ecosystem that nourishes so many gators at the top of the food chain. Not only is the scenery stunning on this fishing charter, but you can go after mackerel, snook, tarpon and bluefish, among others. For those in need of a little guidance, expert advice is on hand. This charter is available for a maximum of two people.
From $700/ per group
Another great private charter that offers space for up to six participants is this sea-going option. Cruise along the Fort Lauderdale shoreline on the way to the best fishing spots for the chance to do a little heavy duty trophy fishing. Sailfish, mahi-mahi, red snapper and kingfish may all be in play, among many others, or simply enjoy the view back to shore, the sea breeze and the experience of getting away from land for a while. There’s a full refund for bad weather cancellations for this tour and the charter is available daily for up to eight hours.