Dolphin fishing time
Capt. Dave Pinkham
July 28, 2009
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report
It sure has been a scorcher the past couple weeks. With the long hot days the Gulf of Mexico's water temperature has been steadily creeping up. By August if you go for a dip in the Gulf it should feel like getting in a warm bathtub.
July is a good month for fishing for dolphin on the West Coast of Florida. They are most definitely a warm-water loving fish so now is the time to find them. Most of the mahi I've caught west of our coast have been outside of 80 feet deep. That equates to at least 20 miles offshore. One way to locate them is to look for weed lines or big bunches of floating sargassum grass. The dolphin will actually hang around or under these floating fish nurseries. I've done well just trolling up and down the weed lines. If it's a real flat day, the sargassum grass will often gather into big clumps. In this instance I like to pull up alongside the weeds and cast my bait so that it falls below the floating grass appearing to be an injured small baitfish. White jigs work great for this as you can cover a lot of water quickly. Live baits such as pinfish, shiners, shrimp, or any other small baitfish for that matter should also work to draw a hungry fish out from under the shady cover of the floating weeds.
Another method I'll use when conditions are flat calm is to start chumming with cut bait along the edge of the grass. This will often draw the attention of most any game fish that's in the area looking for an easy meal.
While you are fishing the upper water column, you may as well drop down a weighted bait to the bottom. Grouper action is usually good out in these depths.
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