Get Started Dolphin Fishing with Tidewater
by Ted Lund
Without a doubt, dolphin (mahi-mahi) are one sport fishing’s favorite species. They are found worldwide, bite readily, are colorful, strong, acrobatic fighters — and as a bonus, they are great table fare.
Getting started dolphin fishing is easy if you live along the East Coast. The first ingredient you need is ready access to bluewater. If you live in Florida, that’s relatively easy to find. Elsewhere, it can be more difficult to pinpoint, but with the help of ocean forecasting services like Roffer’s (www.roffs.com) anglers can avoid wasting time and fuel looking for the right conditions.
Once you pinpoint the most likely water, the next goal is to find anything floating. Mats of Sargasso weed, old logs, semi-submerged hawser line discarded from ships and other debris provide cover and harbor food for predatory pelagics like dolphin.
One of the most effective ways of targeting dolphin is called running-and-gunning, where anglers run until they find debris or feeding birds, then put baits out. Fish the area for a while and if you don’t find anything, keep moving.
Artificial lures like Moldcraft Stubbies or C&H lures rigged with frozen ballyhoo are among the best artificials, and can easily be trolled on light conventional or heavy (20- to 30-pound-class) spinning gear. Once hooked up, it’s a good idea to stop the boat and start throwing chum (glass minnows, chunks of herring, etc.). Dolphin often travel in large schools, and this is a great way to maximize your harvest. Have several rods ready with pitchbaits just in case. And it’s not a bad idea to have jig or other artificial lure ready in case you have to whip them into a frenzy. You’ll also want to keep one hooked fish in the water at all times, helping keep the school around.
Because they are readily available, anglers in many different styles of boats can capitalize on them. One good middle of the road choice is the 230 CC from Tidewater. At 23 feet long and with an 8-foot, 10-inch-beam, the 230 CC is a perfect compromise for near and offshore anglers. Rated for up to 300-hp and with 95 gallons of fuel capacity, it’s got the legs to reach out to the bluewater. It’s 3200-pound weight and 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom but 55 in the bow where the work is done.
The 230 CC is available in white, black, sky blue, Bimini blue, Fusion blue, Carbon grey and Island green.
Some standard accessories include automatic bilge pump, LED navigational lighting, forward casting decks with fish boxes, a 25-gallon aerated live well, stainless steel rub rail, and cockpit courtesy lights. Popular options include bolsters, cushions, bow lifting ring, 24 or 36-volt charging system, fresh water shower and Sea Star hydraulic steering is Standard.
Like all members of the Tidewater family, the 230 CC offers no-wood construction, a 10-year transferable hull warranty, foam flotation, fiberglass stringer system and hand-laid fiberglass hull. For more information on the Tidewater 230 CC or the rest of the Tidewater family of boats or to find a dealer near you, visit www.tidewaterboats.com.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle