Friday, May 18, 2012

Migratory dolphin fishing is hit and miss

Bull dolphin and Ritt Ritter of Prowess

Guy Harvey Magazine t-shirt and fighting mahi

Weed mats and dark skies encountered on May 17

Austin Crosby, Tommy Lewis and a fresh-green mahi
Exceptional does not seem to be the best way to categorize the 2012 dolphin migration two weeks into May, with offshore anglers reporting spotty conditions. With the early onset of warm weather, many presumed that the dolphin would arrive by mid-May in full force, but only a mix of smaller mahi with a few larger fish are being tallied. Of course, this does nothing to dampen the spirits of those anglers determined to charge into the blue waters of the Gulf Stream to see what fish can be raised. On May 17 the crew of Prowess, a 37-foot Buddy Davis, ventured out under early morning thunderstorm conditions - the kind that brought 4-inches of rain to James Island overnight! Yet the climactic conditions made for a nice ocean for cruising to the fishing grounds, where sunlight and warm temps were in and out all day, but the 'fishable' conditions allowed for good trolling. The first fish over the transom was a peanut dolphin that was tagged and released for Don Hammond's Dolphinfish Research Project, but the next several went into the fish box for supper. Although flying fish were seen, and the weed mats were present, there was a lack of bird action and not many aggressive fish in the bait spread. Most of the fish were hooked well behind the boat on a deep drop line, and the mahi all averaged 20-pounds. Thanks to Ritt Ritter and Tommy Lewis for sharing all of their fishing knowledge on this day, including which songs are approved as fish-raising music, and thanks to Captain Brian Gulski who worked hard to put us on the fish.

To view past blog entries about migratory dolphin click in May click here.

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