What's hot: Anglers fishing offshore in late summer often encounter mahi mahi — also known as dolphin. While the bay area is not generally regarded as a hot spot, they do make a welcome addition for anglers who are ready when they appear. In most cases, they are easy to hook. But there are times when they can be finicky about taking a bait.
Tips: Because most of the mahi found here usually are lighter than 10 pounds, light-spinning gear is the preferred tackle. We use braided line in the 15- to- 20-pound class rigged with a 3-foot section of 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. For bait, a small jig works well but not quite as well as a live fish. By far, the best is a small blue runner. These baitfish are one of the primary food sources for dolphin, and they will bite them even when they turn down virtually everything else. The trick to catching these "magic baits" is pulling up to a patch of sargassum weed or floating object and jig a Sabiki rig below it. Even if you cannot see the runners, sending the rig deeper often gets you a string of perfect baits. By having a few dozen in your , you will be ready when a school of dolphin shows up.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (727) 944-3474.