Dolphin (mahi mahi) SPORT FISHING:


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Dolphin (mahi mahi) Sport Fishing PHOTO GALLERY
Islamorada Fishing Charters Florida Keys

Sport fishing for dolphin fish in Islamorada, Florida Keys is excellent and somewhat unique.  Unique, how is that?

As I run my boat from my t-top tower I yell over the 15 knot southeast wind, “big bull dolphin at three o’clock and fifty feet! Do you see him, he is right there surfing in the wave, cast now! Let him eat it, give him line, let him eat. Now reel, reel, reel, and OK set the hook! You’re on! There are two more big dolphin, at eight and seven o’clock, 35 feet out. Cast now, he ate it reel, reel – set the hook – you’re on!” The first dolphin, a +30 pounder, screams off 200 yards of line and makes five spectacular jumps – three jumps “grey hounding” across the choppy water and the last two straight up shaking its head violently trying to shake the hook. Then he sounds deep, now you got a battle! Thirty minutes later and a couple nerve racking head shaking jumps next to the boat, I gaff him and you have caught a nice bull dolphin. The other two we have already put in the boat, being smaller cows of the group at around 15 to 20 lbs. I put a couple baits out trolling, and get four more rods baited-up ready to cast at the next school of big dolphin that will be “tailing” down sea against the Gulf Stream current.

These dolphin fish are surfing the waves (called “tailing”) and chasing flying fish. They use the force of the waves to their advantage. Here in the Florida Keys, the Gulf Stream current flows to the east-northeast, and our trade wind blows against it from the east-southeast. As the current brings bait to the dolphin, the waves propel them to the bait. Naturally, there are low circling and swooping petrels (and frigate birds too) chasing the flying fish spooked up by the dolphin, showing the dolphin’s location. Sometimes one can see two or three sets of petrels in the distance, and we can go from one school of dolphin to another.

This is exciting “sight casting” to big dolphin, and when there are constant sets of dolphin with birds following them, we will literally go from one set of dolphin and birds to the next only sight casting to big dolphin without trolling a bait behind the boat. That is because trolling actually hinders ones capability to maneuver and sight cast to the dolphin. If there is a lull in the action, then we will put out the baits until the next set is spotted.