How to Catch Dolphin
Probably the most obvious and simple answer to how to catch dolphin is
go where the fish are. I know its obvious but maybe not as obvious as you think. Dolphin,
Dorado, or Mahi Mahi as we call them, inhabit only the highly oxygenated offshore blue water.
Yes I have caught them in shallow water, but that is only because the deep blue is just a
stones throw away. The oxygen rich water permeates the near by shallower water. If you go
looking for Dolphin in the bay you are not going to find them. This saying holds true; 20
percent of the oceans on this planet hold 80 percent of the fish. Locating Dolphin is 90
percent of catching them.
These fish are normally easy to catch.
When I say
normally, I mean more then half of the times you locate them it is just a matter of
putting a baited hook in front of them. If you have fished for them much you know
that catching dolphin rarely is as easy as you would like it to be. These fish
sometimes have lock jaw and wont eat the finest of fish food.
Trolling is a great method of locating fish.
vast amounts of water usually results in crossing paths with these golden
gems. If you troll for 8 hours in a day and you are traveling at 10 knots then you
have covered 80 miles of water. Dragging baits over 80 miles of water should
produce fish. However, if that 80 miles is void of fish and the very next mile is
holding fish you have wasted you fuel, time, energy, and efforts. Find something
that is different with the water you will be trolling and concentrate your efforts
there. If you have trolled 87 degree water for 3 hours without success then try
finding the edge of a different temperate water and give that some time. I like the
edge. The edge of a temperature change, the edge of a weed line, the edge of a drop
off, or the edge of a current. Near an edge you can sample two different types
of water with the same efforts.
Prospecting or "Run And Gun" is another efficient way to locate
Run your boat until you find structure or actually find
the fish. Running at a higher rate of speed will cause you to cover allot more
water than trolling. I look for floating tree limbs, logs, boards, or trash. Every
item I find no matter the size gets a bait thrown under or near it. I have caught
Dolphin under very small one gallon containers. Any structure in the vast open
ocean provides shelter for smaller bait fish. Running also brings you and the fish
together faster. On more than one occasion I have gone out and come back in less 3
hours with a limit of Dolphin.
Getting them to eat your bait is the end of the adventure.
Finally you have located the fish and now you just need them to
take the bait. Cut bait of any sort will do the trick. Try squid, fish, shrimp,
crabs, or any other item you can stick on a hook. I have caught fish with my
shoe. See the picture for proof. Yes that is my flip flop in my
Some days it can be the complete opposite. It wouldn't matter if you had
a fillet mignon wrapped in bacon on your hook and they just won't eat it. Even
a live bait makes them nauseous. At times like these I try every item on the
boat and find it doesn't matter they just are not going to feed. I do find that
if you can stay with them long enough sometimes they will turn on and actually
Gaffing the fish is the finally.
The final act of Dolphin Fishing is sticking the gaff in a nice
sized fish and lifting him over the side. The best advice I can give you is take
your time and wait for the perfect shot. Wait until the fish is parallel to the
surface and place the gaff in the head so as to not ruin any of the filets. If the
fishes head is out of the water it means he is pointed directly at you. this is the
hardest gaff shot. Tell the angler to give the fish a little slack so his head can
go back into the water and allow him to lay sideways to you.
After gaffing lift the fish with one motion into the boat. The best method is
to swing him into the cooler or fish box all in one motion.
There is so much to fishing that a man that spends his life
fishing for a living still couldn't learn everything. I have spent most of my life commercial
fishing or sport fishing and I can tell you that I learn something every time I go out in the
If you would like to read more about Dolphin Fishing pick
up a copy of my book here MORE...