Dolphin Fishing - Angling Techniques

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Instructor: RJ Boyle

A rotation-style dolphin fishing technique involves catching every fish that appears. It involves using steady food, such as menhaden oil, chum, and chunks, to keep pelagic food vacuums happy. The process involves drawing a fish away from the school, sending out hooked bait, and sending out loan chunks. This method is effective for both big sport fishers and center consoles.

Description / Review / Instructor

When it comes to dolphin fishing and catching multiple fish from a school, there's a method to the madness. The science behind it is explained in our In The Spread fishing video.

The Rotation System

  • Number of Anglers: You need at least two anglers. Three or more is ideal.
  • Purpose: This rotation style system will help you catch most, if not all, the dolphin that appear behind your boat.
  • Key Point: When those fish are behind your boat, it's crucial to act. Knowledge is what sets you apart.

Dolphin Fishing Technique Explained

If you recall the steady food discussion from our chumming and chunking video, then you understand that your menhaden oil, chum, and chunks create the food chain that keeps the dolphin near your boat. This is essential for the rotation system to work flawlessly.

  1. Hooking the First Dolphin: Once you hook your initial dolphin and it's clearly visible and well-hooked near your boat, keep it in the water. Don't rush to pull it out.
  2. Preparation: Squirt oil into the water and drop your chum bag overboard. As the school approaches, toss in a few chunks to entice them. If you maintain a steady food supply, the dolphin will stay. They're primarily there to eat.

    Note: At this stage, you're set. No need to bring the first dorado into the boat or switch it with the next fish you hook. Keep it visible and place the rod in the rod holder. Your food chain is in motion, and you're prepared to start the fishing rotation.

More Techniques

  1. Positioning: Whichever side of the boat your first dolphin is on (where the rod is in its holder), that's where you should have the chum bag and where you should be tossing chunks.
  2.  The Systematic Approach:
  •  Toss a chunk away from the school, towards the other side of the boat.
  • When a fish moves towards it, cast your baited hook in that direction.
  • Once hooked, let your fish move away from the school and the boat. Don't apply too much pressure; you can almost guide the fish in.
  • Keep your chunking program consistent. Once that fish is near and you can gaff it, toss another chunk away from the school and follow with another baited hook.
A Little More Technique

  1. Feeding: The most crucial person on your boat is the one tossing chunks to the dolphin school behind your boat. If you mess up the feeding, the fish might leave as quickly as they arrived. The key is to fight one fish at a time. Once you've caught a dolphin, drop the next baited hook in the water. Repeat until you've caught them all. You can almost train the dolphin to follow your lead.
  2. Monitoring: Remember the very first fish you hooked? It's still in the rod holder. If it starts looking unhealthy or turns yellow, replace it with a freshly hooked fish. If your initial fish weakens, the school might get nervous and scatter. Monitor that fish closely.


This angler rotation technique for dolphin fishing is effective on both large sport yachts and center consoles. While there might be minor differences to consider, the core principle remains the same: food is the key. Master this system, integrate it into your dolphin fishing routine, and you'll likely see a significant improvement in your success rate.

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