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Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)
Fishing in the Florida Keys

Description: The most colorful of pelagic gamefish, the Dolphin is a blaze of blue and yellow or deep green and yellow when in the water, and sometimes shows dark vertical stripes as well when excited. Small dark spots on sides. Dorsal fin extends nearly from head to tail. Head is very blunt in males (Bulls) rounded in females (Cows).

Size: Schooling fish run in similar sizes, from around a pound to nearly 20 pounds at times; larger fish are loners, or else pairs - bull and cow. Big bulls often reach 50 pounds in weight and can exceed 80 pounds on rare occasion. Large cows generally top out at 40 pounds or so. World record 88 pounds.

Food Value: Excellent

Game Qualities: Excellent game - fast, strong and acrobatic.

Tackle / Bates : With the acrobatic Dolphin, anything goes. Private-boat anglers typically seek to find a school by trolling or by running and searching for visual signs. Once a school is located, it can usually be kept around the boat by restrained chumming with cut bait and / or by keeping at least one hooked in the water at all times. A hot school will eagerly accept jigs or, for that matter, all sorts of casting baits, including flies and popping bugs. If strikes slow down, cut bait often does the trick. Big fish can be caught using rigged trolling baits and artificial lures.

Range: Off shore waters of the Gulf and Gulfstream

Habitat: Dolphins roam the open waters, along weedlines and around large floating objects.

Fishing Method: Trolling; Drifting

Season: Summer Months

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