Dolphin Fishing Tackle | In The Spread
Dolphin Fishing Tackle
Dolphin are voracious feeders, glutinous and greedy. Like wild starving dogs at a bowl of fresh meat, dolphin devour food with no relent, unless the full moon is shinning. Because of this frenetic feeding behavior, there is scarcely an offshore fishing endeavor that is simpler than dolphin fishing. Nothing fancy or complicated is required from your dolphin fishing tackle. Whether your approach is spinning or conventional, the considerations for your dolphin fishing tackle are few, other than going with a quality product. You are certainly free to buy the most extravagant outfits, but it is not necessary. You really only need a couple of decent rods and reels. As for the rigs, there is the monofilament rig and the fluorocarbon rig. Very simple stuff, generally.
I am not going to tell you what rods and reels to buy. There are a lot of great fishing rod manufacturers these days. Some are of the mass produced variety and some custom. You can get excellent custom rods for a very fair price. Use whatever works for you. What I intend to do is give you guidelines for an approach to setting up your dolphin fishing tackle.
The dolphin fishing tackle world presents the angler with perhaps too many options when it comes to feathers and lures. While it is good to have a nice assortment of dolphin lures, live bait and chunks are the most lethal baits you can use. If you head offshore with fresh chunks and or live bait, you should experience extremely productive fishing.
I steer you towards bait fishing for one reason, because it works and there is no reason to complicate dolphin fishing. There are only two rigs you need to consider and which you use will depend in the moon. Your bait offering also depends on the moon. On the full moon phase when it is bright all night, dolphin will feast throughout the evening. When you arrive on scene, this fish will already be full and not interested in your bait offering. Chunks will not work under this circumstance. Live bait will be required, as the dolphin will be super picky. Pilchards, herring and juvenile blue runners are the perfect baits for dolphin. Baits on the smaller size are ideal. One point to make here. If you encounter sea weed, the baits that lives under it are juvenile blue runners. Dolphin cannot resist this bait. They will eat it no matter how full they are. Always bring a sabiki rig with a weight to catch these gems, as they will be far more difficult to purchase than pilchards.
The two dolphin fishing rigs to know are the fluorocarbon rig for live bait full moon fishing and the monofilament rig for chunking on smaller moons. On the full moon, the dolphin, having feasted all night, will be lazy. You may see them even nose a live pilchard and toy with it. On the smaller or darker moons, this pilchard will be annihilated, along with chunks of bonito or ballyhoo.
For chunking, a 3-4 foot 80 lb mono leader is suitable for areas where the fish are well under 50 lbs on average. In places where you regularly encounter 50 and 80 lb fish, bump the leader up to 130 lb. A 7766D Mustad hook is a great choice. It has a bit of a longer shank, which helps with de-hooking fish. Crimp your hook to the leader. With less finicky fish, you can crimp a loop in the tag end and attach it to a snap swivel on you main line. Clear, pink and smoke are all good colors for your leader material.
Around the full moon, you will need to use fluorocarbon 50 lb leader material with a super sharp offset 5/0 hook. The 5/0 is the perfect size hook for your smaller live baits. Crimp the hook to the leader. Tie the fluorocarbon directly to your mainline with an albright, double uni or blood knot.
For conventional dolphin fishing tackle, a good action 6' 6'' – 7' foot 16-20 lb rod with ring guides is a very suitable choice. A rod with a softer tip is recommended. As for the reel you select for dolphin fishing, a high retrieve reel with ample line capacity is a must. You never know when a 50 lb dolphin or bigger is going to show up. Avet, Shimano and Penn all make great reels. Whatever you choice, just make sure it is a good quality product.
Spinning tackle has gotten so good, offering incredible versatility, you can battle damn near any fish in the sea with it. A dolphin fishing spinning rod in the 16-20 lb range works very well. A 7' fast action rod with a stout butt will serve you just fine. Your mainline on the reel should be 20 lb, so pick a commensurate sized reel. Diawa, Penn and Okuma are solid options. Go with something that holds enough line to handle a 50-80 lb dolphin.
If you want to learn more about dolphin fishing tackle, tactics, how fish birds, weed lines and current edges, take a gander at our selection of Dolphin Fishing Videos. You will get a lot of specificity with these fishing videos. They is a lot more to learn. At In The Spread, it is all about gaining fishing knowledge, so you can fish smarter and catch more fish.
In The Spread Fishing