We're Catching Mahi-Mahi on our Fishing Charters This Week
Capt. Paul Roydhouse
August 16, 2017
Fort Lauderdale - Saltwater Fishing Report
Great mahi-mahi action on our fishing charters this week! We're even catching them on our drift fishing trips (sometimes). The sportfishing boats have the advantage in catching mahi because they go trolling, where you drag lures and rigged baits around, covering a lot more territory over the reef than you cover by drift fishing alone. With dolphin, you never know where they might be out there. You gotta go looking for them and sometimes they aren't easy to find. You have to cover a lot of sea miles out there to have a good chance at finding some dolphin. The great thing about dolphin fishing is that when you do find them, they are likely to be in a school of fish, so you could catch a lot of them in a short burst of action. Dolphin fishing is one of the most boring types of fishing (when you are trolling around looking for them) and also the most exciting types of fishing (when you do find them and the action in the cockpit is a controlled chaos). It's a fun fish to go after, it's no wonder that dolphin are so popular.
August and September are awesome months for mahi-mahi. The calm waters offshore during these months provides the perfect conditions to find dolphin. When fishing offshore, it's mostly a barren area out there with little to no fish life. Dolphin like to hang near to debris floating on the top of the water, like seaweed, drift wood and other man-made items that float. This gives them a little protection from predators such as sharks and marlin, but also creates a habitat to attract small baitfish. If there's something floating offshore, it's the start of the food chain. Small fish show up, bigger fish move in and then the really big ones. Floating debris allows dolphin to have good hunting grounds for food in an otherwise barren area of ocean.
This time of year, most of our dolphin are schoolie sized fish. They average 3-5 pounds and are just the right size to flip into the boat without using a gaff. A few gaffer sized dolphin may be mixed into the school you find and every blue moon, you might catch a huge bull dolphin. They are out there and the only way to get them is to go offshore and see what happens. It's a bit of a gamble to go for dolphin, especially with all the action in on the reef with the multitudes of kingfish and bonito action. But if you want dolphin, you have to put in your time, energy and use all your luck.
Offshore, you can catch more than just dolphin. They aren't the only fish that reside offshore. Blackfin and skipjack tunas are caught offshore too. They are stronger, bigger fish that are found sporadically in areas offshore. You catch them when you are trolling around and out of the blue a tuna jumps on the line. It's one of the only fish species that breaks up the monotony of dolphin trolling. And the other fish is sailfish (marlin too). Sailfish are more of a reef species and are caught more often in 200ft of water or less. But they venture offshore as well and can be caught trolling. Marlin, a close relative of the sailfish, are extremely rare. They are caught trolling offshore, usually at a faster clip and using larger lures. But always remember, elephants eat peanuts. Big fish don't necessarily only eat larger baits. If they come across a small bait that looks appetizing to them, they will pounce on it. Marlin are very rare and we only hit them on a seldom occasion, but it sure is awesome when they do jump on the line.
There is some great action on our deep sea fishing trips this month. Dolphin are hitting good offshore if that's what you're after. Book a trip over the course of the next month and a half and you have good chances at hitting them. Good luck to everyone fishing this week. I'll sea ya on the water.
Capt. Andy Roydhouse
More Fishing Reports: