By Peter Miller, Bass 2 Billfish

Helpful tips and hints for dolphin fishing in Florida

Whether you call it dolphin, mahi mahi or dorado, there is no doubt that this gamefish is a prized offshore catch.  Though they only live about five years, these fish can grow up to 80 pounds and are found in tropical waters around the world including the Gulf Coast of Florida. They are also well known for their mild, sweet taste. Tender and easy to prepare, mahi mahi is delicious in a variety of dishes.

Look for dolphin near debris including Sargasso weed line, and floating objects. There, they feed on sea life like squid, flying fish and sea horses. Brilliantly colored anyway with iridescent blues, greens, and golds, Dolphin “light up” when hooked and their colors deepen dramatically. The dazzling color display combined with this fast-swimming fish’s acrobatics make them a sought-after recreational fish.

Trolling at around six to eight knots is a productive method of catching dolphin and proven bait include frozen ballyhoo, artificial lures, spoons and feathers. Many experienced fishermen will start with 20-30 pound test line combined with a five to six foot spinning rod and 20-30 foot reel.

Though mature males or bulls tend to travel alone or only in pairs, smaller fish travel in schools. If a schoolie dolphin is hooked, brought boat side, and left in the water, the rest of the school will usually follow. Sometimes a school can hit so fast there’s barely enough time to set the hook as it hits the water! There’s no question that dolphin offer unmatched excitement for experienced and novice anglers alike.