How To:

South FL Dolphin Fishing

Author: Mike Milewski

Tips For Targeting Summertime Mahi In South Florida

South Florida Mahi Fishing
Swinging a heavy lifter into the boat.

Dolphin fishing is heating up in South FL!! As we anticipate the fall run of dolphin it’s time to prepare!

Tackle We Use For Targeting Mahi In South Florida

First lets discuss some tackle needed. The below is a good check list you will need when venturing off shore to run and gun for dolphin.

  • 5-30 class trolling set up’s
  • 2-50W trolling set up’s (Planner/Lead deep baits)
  • 4 Spinner set up’s with pitch baits ready to go
  • Rigged Ballyhoo
  • Rigged Squid
  • Rigged Bonita Strips
  • live pilchards
  • Chum bucket (Cut up sardines & Squid)
  • Trolling lures
  • Vertical Jigs

  • Finding A Frigate Bird Is A Good Sign When Mahi Fishing

Once you have all your prep done and loaded up, its time to run offshore. Now the most productive approach to get tight is to run and gun!! I would not spend time deploying the spread unless you see one of more on the below list. Not saying you can’t hook up blind trolling, but finding an area that holds bait increases your odds of getting tight.

What To Look For When Mahi Fishing

  • Frigate Birds
  • Weed line
  • Rip
  • Temp Break
  • Color Change
  • Bait popping
  • Floating Debris

Good news you and crew are down and tight!! What to do next? Keep the boat moving and your spread out unless you need to get past a line. When one hits most likely there are more. Once you get your dolphin close, keep your eyes open for followers. We try and pitch a few baits out and capitalize on the action when possible. Once your dolphin/dolphins are in the box go ahead and circle back through that area. You never know!!  

If you see any type of floating debris it is extremely productive to start throwing out some chum and a few pitch baits to see what lurks below. Also a good idea in this situation is to bust out a vertical jig, since the fish might be a bit deeper than your eye can see. If you happen to get one to bite keep him on the line while pitching out baits to his buddies! A LIT up dolphin usual brings his curious friends to the boat as well.

Now get out there and catch some Dolphin!!!

As Always Thanks Bullbuster for making the best products on the market that keep us tight!!!  

If you enjoyed this article you may also like other dolphin fishing articles on

Best Recipes For Mahi Mahi - Mahi are one of the best tasting fish on the planet! Here are a few recipes from the web to cook your mahi.  

Run & Gun For Mahi - “Running and gunning” is one of the most effective techniques for targeting mahi in South Florida.  This allows you to cover lots of ground and find more fish. Read the article to learn more about this technique. 

What Fishing Line Do I Need For Mahi Mahi - Learn how to spool your reels to target mahi. 

How To Target Mahi  - This is another guide on targeting mahi in South Florida. 

Tackle & Lures For Mahi -This guide talks about targeting mahi using lures.  

Local Florida Recipe For Mahi - A local South Florida resident and Bullbuster Ambassador Albert Acosta talks about his favorite recipe for mahi. 

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