Fly Fishing For Dolphin
Dolphin (Mahi-mahi) are the fastest growing fish in the sea. That's because they have a
big appetite and eat lots of food. They can be found anywhere offshore but are most
often found in rip or current lines with floating debris. Dolphin are always attracted to rip
lines with floating sargassum weeds. That's because small baitfish will hide from their
predators beneath the grass. One of their main predators are dolphin. The floating weed
concentrates the food and eventually attracts dolphin.
Sargassum weed lines aren't the only thing that concentrates dolphin. Anything that
floats on the surface in bluewater will attract dolphin for the same reason. Given some
time, anything floating will attract small baitfish and eventually dolphin will show up to feed
Birds are another indication of feeding dolphin. Just look for the birds in the offshore
bluewaters. Not only will the small baitfish birds feed on attract dophin, they will attract
many other species of offshore fish. One good ways to find birds out over a large
expanse of bluewater is to use binoculars and search for them. Another way is to spot
them on radar. If you know what to look for and have a good radar set properly, you can
When you can find any of the above, you should attempt to slowly move up to the area to
where you can get a shot at a dolphin. It's rare you can find enough activity that you can
cast from a dead drifting boat but it's possible. If you allow the boat to drift without power
into the weed line or up to the floating debris you can sometimes get a shot at them.
The most common method used it to troll teasers down the rip line or around the floating
debris whichever the case. The best teasers for dolphin are meat teasers. Artificial
teasers have to be trolled fairly fast. With meat teasers (cut strip bait made from fish
stomach) you can troll fairly slow and have a much better chance to cast a fly to the
dolphin. This is called "bait and switch". When the dolphin comes into the teasers, you
cast a fly back to them and someone jerks the teasers out of the way. Left with only the
fly, most of the time dolphin will take the fly. Not only will dolphin be attracted to meat
teasers, so will tuna, marlin, sailfish and wahoo, provided they are present in the
particular offshore waters you are fishing.
Large bull dolphin are very difficult to catch on a fly rod. It's similar to catching large
tarpon or sailfish. Those that range from twenty to forty pounds are most common and
are usually found in schools. The large bull dolphin are usually alone or with a female.
The small dolphin, ranging from five to then pounds, are called "chicken" dolphin. They
are also a lot of fun to catch on a fly.
Once you have located a school of chicken dolphin you can usually hold the entire
school close to the boat by keeping one that has been hooked in the water. As long as
the fish is near the boat, the others will usually come near it also and you can continue to
We will go over the fly fishing gear and flies you need for dolphin fishing in a separate
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