We had a full day today
and my customer wanted to go offshore and look for “Something” big. We headed South hoping to find some good fish. There have been a few good fish around, but you have to cover a lot of water to find them. There has been an excessive amount of Sargasso weed from the Reef out to about 750 ft of water making it difficult to fish.
The Sargasso weed is usually good
for the Dolphin fishing. It provides a habitat for the small fish, crabs, seahorses, and critters that the dolphin eat. But when it is too much, you can’t troll without getting the baits covered with weed. The fish we are after don’t like a salad with their meals, so dragging around a big clump of weed on a bait is a good way to not get a bite.
The mates have been working extra hard
all year so far. They are constantly shaking the weed off the baits. It has been a nonstop effort most days. The mate will spend the day going from one bait after another clearing the weed. It’s tiring, but you have to do it or you won’t catch any fish.
We covered a lot of water heading South
all morning. We went from weed line to weed line without any bites. Finally, as we got out to about 750 ft of water we hooked a big Dolphin. It was a nice bull around 24lbs. We hooked it on the Deep troll line. The deep troll line runs below the surface and is intended for Wahoo offshore. It is the only line we run offshore with a wire leader. That is because Wahoo have very sharp teeth and will bite through a monofiliment leader.
The Deep troll line
is NOT the bait you want Dolphin or billfish to eat. The reason is with most dolphin and billfish you want to give them a “drop back”. This means you give the fish some line and some time to swallow the bait before coming tight on the line. A deep troll doesn’t do that so it’s not uncommon to lose a dolphin or billfish when they eat that bait. The surface lines are clipped up in the outrigger and will give a natural dropback when a fish strikes. That is where you hope your dolphin and billfish strike. They don’t always cooperate. This one didn’t.
This Dolphin hit the deep troll line
and didn’t get hooked at first. When this happens the bait will pop out of the clip holding it down and comes up to the surface. My mate saw the line start to come up and immediately went over to the rod. It’s a good thing he did because he saw the dolphin come up behind the bait and gave it a dropback himself. The big Bull got hooked deep and the fight was on.
After we landed the fish,
my customer informed me that his wife was not feeling great. She was a trooper and would not complain. She wanted her husband to have his day on the water, but he knew she was not feeling well. He had his big fish and would not keep her offshore feeling bad. It’s nice to see people putting their spouses first. I’m sure there were a few good fish around offshore and we would have had other chances if we had stayed, but we headed home with one big dolphin.