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Boat Setup for Dolphin Fishing

You never know whether you will encounter when dolphin fishing. You could encounter a lone bull, a handful of fish or the entire school. With this in mind, you need to be setup with all the gear, tackle and bait before you get into the fish. This boat setup video is taken from our much longer Dolphin Fishing video with RJ Boyle. We cut this clip out for your viewing convenience.

What you will see is how we recommend you setup your boat for a day of dolphin fishing. In this case, we will be on a center console boat, but you can apply the concepts shared to your bigger sport fishing yacht.

One of your primary considerations needs to be bait. Having a live well is a must. How big of a live well you decide to go with is based on preference. How much room do you have and how much live bait do you want to have. There will be times when the moon is bright and the mahi mahi will be feeding all night. When you arrive the next day, the fish may be finicky, showing no interests in dead bait. In order to trigger bites, you will need live bait. Your live well choices are super important.

When dolphin fishing, you will need an assortment of accessories. Items like a dip net for your live bait, a dehooker or three, knives and a cutting board or station are a must.

Another of your primary considerations will be the fish box. What are you going to put your fish in and how big does it need to be? You will need plenty of ice, as well.

One of the pieces of tackle that fishermen may not give enough thought to are the gaffs. You need a few gaffs to handle getting your fish in the boat. A sturdy yet flexible short gaff for flipping fish in the the box will serve you well. A much longer gaff for reaching fish that may be a tad more difficult to get close to the boat will make you look like a hero. Give ample thought to the type and number of gaffs you will need for dolphin fishing.

As you know, the carnage of catching dollies means there will be blood all over your boat. Have a bucket and cleaning accessories, so you can do a quick cleanup every now and then, as the day progresses. Dried blood is a pain to deal with at days end.

When you decide to head offshore in pursuit of any pelagic species, safety needs to paramount. Be sure to have a life raft, life vests, an EPIRB, fire extinguishers and foul weather gear. There is nothing more important that returning safely from your dolphin fishing adventure.

Be sure to have extra tackle that relates to the type of fishing you are doing on any given day. Think about leader material, hooks, weights, cutters, sunscreen, rope and additional chum bags. There may be other items that you want. Plan your trip out before leaving.

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