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Using the Right Lures for Catching Dolphin
It’s true, Mahi Mahi Lures come in many shapes and sizes. There isn’t “one” definitive, go-to lure for catching Dolphin. Sea witches, Dolphin Weenies, small plugs, even spoons will catch them. However, most anglers have a personal preference.
Mahi Mahi, Dolphin, Dorado; whatever you call it, this is one tasty fish that is fun to catch. These tropical fish migrate up to thousands of miles annually. This species grows quite quickly. In fact, they are one of the fastest growing fish in the world. Mahi grow up to 1 inch every week and can pack on an additional three pounds per month. Typically, you’ll find Dolphin fish in warm waters such as the Gulf stream. They like to eat many types of fish, shrimp, crabs, and of course, squid.
Far and away, the most (if not only) difficult thing about catching Mahi is finding them. Some days, anglers even use dredges or spreader bars to raise Mahi into the spread and ultimately, into the cooler.
When targeting Dolphin, you’ll typically do better in open waters near or in the Gulf Stream. Some great indicators of a present Mahi population are weed lines, debris on the surface, diving birds, and bait, like Flying Fish popping up on the surface. If you choose to troll, the most productive speeds are between 5 and 8 knots. Mahi Mahi lures range from lead heads with hair or rubber skirts to naked ballyhoo. You can also catch these tasty fish on jigs or by throwing a chunk of bait on a hook.
Mahi Mahi lures vary. The most popular in our experience are sea witch style lures with dead bait such as a ballyhoo. Weights of this dolphin fishing lure typically range from ¼ to up to 10 ounces. Many anglers also like to pull chugger style lures like the C&H Lil’ Stubby or Squidnation Chuggers. These baits work great with or without ballyhoo. Fully artificial set-ups such as a Rattle Jet work well and are affordable. Also, you can save time by not having to rig and re-rig baits. In the Summer, when the water is warmer, Dolphin Weenies with strip baits are the hot ticket for school size fish. You’ll find that the larger fish typically hang out deeper and will often fall for deep baits on a planer. Daisy chains such as the Flash Banger have proven very successful for targeting Mahi on the troll. The combination of vibrant color, action, and the flash of Mylar is all but irresistible to big Dolphin.
One other great way to catch smaller school size fish is to pick one off while trolling and keep it at the boat. Once the other fish in the school realize their buddy has left, they’ll often follow him straight to the boat. You can then throw hooks with cut bait, small jigs, even soft plastics to catch others from the school. This is particularly fun on light tackle.
Be ready, many other species, such as Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, and even Marlin can fall for the same styles of lure.
Please give us a call at 888.453.3742, send us an email, or hop on live chat if you have questions about Dolphin lures. We are happy to help.