Trolling and dolphin fishing

Summertime on the Atlantic coast means dolphin (Mahi-mahi or dorado) fishing. While dolphins may be found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Pacific and off Hawaii, Mexico, and South America, the Southeastern US coast is known for summertime dolphin fishing.

Where Will We Go Fishing?

  • On the other hand, the Gulfstream is the best place to capture dolphins.
  • Location of Gulfstream
  • As the US shoreline bends northeast, it becomes closer to the stream, making the trip more manageable in the Carolinas.
  • Requirements for Tackle

Reels and Rods

You are trolling rods rated at 30 pounds.
Traditional reels spooled with 25 to 30-pound monofilament lines are matched.
Lighter spinning or casting rods and reels for schools near the boat and rods and reels in the same line class.
Terminal tackle leaders are often 50-70 pound test wire or 80-pound monofilament. The use of a wire leader is necessary since other species (such as barracuda) may strike your bait. These leaders are normally six to eight feet in length.
Hooks for dead or live bait — normal trolling hooks in the 6/0 to 7/0 range and 7/0 circular hooks for live baiting.
Gloves for Handling Other Tackle — for handling a hooked fish.
For taking the fish onboard, you’ll need a gaff – often more than one.
A 120-quart cooler is the smallest size I would bring. When a dolphin is brought aboard, it should be taken straight to the cooler, where someone can sit on the cooler’s lid until he calms down. A dolphin frolicking on a boat’s deck will shatter gear and destroy bones. Put him in the refrigerator!

Methods of Fishing

  • Trolling
  • The majority of dolphin anglers will be trolling some bait.
  • The amount of lines out is determined by the size of your boat and the number of anglers. On the surface, most boats troll at least two lines.
  • On a downrigger, an extra line may be trolled.
  • Trolling speed should be between 4 and 7 knots, which is just fast enough for the bait to function correctly. A
  • properly working trick will skim along just beneath and on top of the water’s surface.
  • Baiting with live animals
  • With a freelined live ballyhoo, drift a weed line.
  • The same live bait is used for kite fishing.

What Bait Should You Use?

Natural Bait Ballyhoo may be found in most bait shops, and fresh ones can sometimes be purchased.

Mullet (or mullet strips) is a kind of mullet.

Artificial BaitsThere are a plethora of artificial baits on the market, and many of them are designed to attract dolphins and do so successfully. I prefer a Dolphin Junior trolling bait over natural appeal most days, and it’s much simpler to work with, and it can even outfish natural baits.

How do I know when it’s time to start putting my lines out?

The fish you’re looking for is in or around the Gulfstream. Dolphins may follow a school of flying fish closer to shore on rare occasions, but they will almost always be in the stream. The ultra-clear, blue water beneath your boat will let you know when you’ve arrived at the stream, and it will appear as though you can see a mile or more down into the sea. It’s called “blue water” for a reason: it’s a stunning, deep, pure blue.

Look for weeds and debris after you reach the blue water. Anything that floats on the water’s surface will attract dolphins. They shelter themselves from the sun with flotsam. Weddings form along the length of a rip, which can be many miles long. Boats can be found trolling both sides of a lengthy weed line. Line up and follow the leader. Everyone catches fish in this manner at times, and no one catches fish at other times. That’s why it’s known as fishing!

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