Tag Archives: Mahi Mahi

Summer Dolphin Tactics

 

Summer Dolphin Tactics

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Dolphin, Dorado, mahimahi. No matter what you call them these neon green, yellow and blue speedsters are perhaps the perfect pelagic game fish. Why? Because they fight extremely hard, they are common in warm waters around the world, they grow super fast, and they taste delicious. That’s why Dolphin are such a popular summertime target.

 

To get in on the fun, start with the computer. Satellite forecasting services can help pinpoint likely zones based on water temperatures, underwater structure, currents and temporary features like color changes and weed lines. Reports from the local tackle shop, marina or fishing forum will help narrow the search too.

 

On the water, the boat’s electronics will be invaluable tools. The chart plotter will identify ledges, humps and depth contours that concentrate bait. Some units offer real-time data overlays. Dial in the radar to paint frigates and other birds hunting for bait and keep a pair of binoculars handy to confirm the blips. The sounder will show the differences in water temperatures. Dolphin love hot water, so even a degree or two of change could mean a concentration of fish.

Having a mixed tackle set-up will expand your dolphin opportunities. Big plastic chugger and jet head lures on trolling combos run several waves behind the boat will cover plenty of water. A heavy Nylure lead jig in bright yellow trolled way back is a surefire bet. It often produces when nothing else will. A heavy spinning outfit with a large surface lure like a Sebile Popper can be cast quickly whenever the birds are working bait, or you run across a nice weed line or floating debris. Dolphin love to hang around anything, from wooden pallets, oil drums, trees and other flotsam. These “surface structures” attract small baitfish, which in turn attracts hungry dolphin. Another spinning outfit with a stout live bait hook and a chunk of ballyhoo is great enticement when that gang of gaffers does show up.

Dolphin typically travels in packs so once one is hooked, keep it in the water as long as possible. The thrashing and commotion will pull its school mates into casting range. If, after catching a couple the fish seem to lose interest, throw a handful of small cut ballyhoo pieces overboard. That will usually fire ‘em up again. Another trick is to use the raw water washdown hose and spray a light shower near the boat. The noise and dimpling water often triggers another feeding frenzy.

After a fun fight comes the best part—eating the catch. Dolphin filets are very mild and can be cooked a variety of ways. It’s hard to beat a big slab hot off the grill, however.

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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Five Proven Rigs for Dolphin

 

Five Proven Rigs for Dolphin

By Craig Lamb

Dolphin, sometimes called the mahi-mahi, are one of the tastiest, sporting game fish in the sea. This species is especially fun to catch during summer, when schools of dolphin congregate around drifting objects like grass, floating debris or offshore drilling platforms.

Hook up with one dolphin and others will follow your catch back to the boat. One or more larger fish might even blitz the bait with your fish on the line. The iridescent blue, green and yellow hues of the species make it even more prized by saltwater anglers. So do the acrobatic leaps of the fish when hooked.

Photo: Home Run Charters

Here are five proven rigs for summer success with dolphin.

Ready rig

This is just a catch phrase to explain the importance of always having a spinning rod and reel always at the ready. Dolphin can appear from nowhere around drifting grass, floating debris or other isolated habitats.

Spool up with 20-pound test line on a medium/heavy reel and rod combo. Use a weedless ballyhoo rig. Make it by running the hook point through the gill and out the throat of the ballyhoo. Insert the hook into the belly to make it weedless. You can also add a small skirt over the nose of the ballyhoo for additional strike appeal and to deflect weeds.

Keep the ballyhoo rig in a bucket of saltwater and be ready when the fish show up.

Real thing

You can also set a drift along a weed line using live bait. The rig is simple but effective. Just tie a 2/0 or 3/0 live bait hook to 20-pound line on a spinning reel. Pitch the lure to the edge of the weed line. The weightless and simple rig lets the bait swim enticingly into the weeds.

Go deep

If a school of dolphin suddenly disappears have ready a 3/4-ounce jigging spoon rigged to a casting outfit. The rig can be dropped vertically along the edge of the weed line and worked at various depths. Use a snapping action with your wrist to impart the action of a wounded bait fish.

Chunk of bait

When all else fails, you can rig a chunk of ballyhoo to a 6/0 live bait hook. Use a stout, heavy action rod and reel spooled with 50-pound test. Use a long leader, at least 20 feet, so you can snip off sections as the line becomes frayed without having to retie the entire rig. Add a few ounces of weight and complete the rig with a balloon. Allow it to drift along the edge of the weed line.

Chugging along

To fire up a school of dolphin, you can’t go wrong with a noisy topwater bait. Chugger-style plugs make a great choice for the splashing action imparted when the lure is worked across the surface.  

A center console boat designed for hardcore offshore fishing without sacrificing luxury features is the unbeatable combination found in the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure.

Here’s a preview of how luxury meets performance in a center console rig. Flip out the comfy back rests on the cushioned forward bench seating and you get a bow rider experience. A new center console mounting system and standard hardtop set this rig up for serious fishing.

What else sets the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure apart from the rest are the specs of the boat. It has a length overall of 24’ 8” and a wide beam spanning 9’ 3” for a solid ride and plenty of interior room. The boat weighs 4,150 pounds with a fuel capacity of 126 gallons for making long runs offshore. Twin 115 h.p. outboards are recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance, with a maximum of 300 h.p. A 21-degree deadrise at the transom creates a soft ride in waves and chop. Cockpit depth rises from 27.5” to 33.5” inches at midship and bows for a safe, drier ride. 

Top off the above features with foam floatation, all-composite, no wood construction and a hand-laid fiberglass boat and you get the most reliable, dependable boat in it’s class.

Split fishing boxes, storage for terminal tackle utility boxes, abundant rod storage, and fresh water wash down adds to the fishing features. A 25-gallon aerated live well is designed with round corners to reduce fish stress and finished in blue to keep bait calm.

Hardcore anglers and discriminating boaters like to customize their rigs with options that suit their needs. The Tidewater 252 CC Adventure delivers with the best quality accessories available. Leaning post options are many. Choose from a deluxe drop bolster version, or a leaning post with a sink or a live well. A LED lighting package, Taco 280 Grandslam outriggers, and underwater lights are among the many other options.

A luxury experience with a performance edge. That’s what you get with the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure.

Tidewater stays close to it’s saltwater roots with the manufacturing facility located in Lexington, S.C. Find out more about the complete lineup of models,  at tidewaterboats.com. Visit the growing community of Tidewater owners on Facebook at Tidewater Boats LLC.

Originl Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com