Dolphin Fishing - Boat Setup

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Instructor: RJ Boyle
Categories: Saltwater Dolphin

Dolphin fishing is a popular activity that requires a boat setup, including live bait, tackle, and accessories. A live well is essential for catching fish, and a fish box with ice, dehooker, knives, cutting boards, and gaffs is essential. Safety equipment and foul weather gear are also essential for a safe trip. Applying these concepts to your sportfisher's boat depends on the size, number of people, and storage space. Enjoy the experience and fish smarter.

Description / Review / Instructor

You never know what you will encounter when dolphin fishing. It could be a lone bull, a few fish, or an entire school. With this unpredictability, it's crucial to be prepared. This guide is derived from our comprehensive Dolphin Fishing video with RJ Boyle. We've extracted this segment for easier access.

Boat Setup Recommendations

What you'll learn here is our suggested boat setup for dolphin fishing. While we focus on a center console boat, the principles can be adapted for larger sport fishing yachts.

Bait Considerations

  • Live Well: An essential component. The size of your live well depends on your preference, available space, and the amount of live bait you wish to carry.
During bright moon nights, mahi mahi might feed throughout the night. The next day, they might be uninterested in dead bait. Live bait becomes crucial to entice them. Your live well choices play a pivotal role here.

Essential Accessories

For dolphin fishing, ensure you have:

  • Dip net for live bait
  • Multiple dehookers
  • Knives
  • Cutting board or station

Fish Box

  • Size & Ice: Determine the size of your fish box based on your needs. Ensure you have ample ice.
Tackle: Gaffs

  • Gaffs are often overlooked. You'll need several to efficiently get your catch onboard.
        A short, sturdy yet flexible gaff is ideal for flipping fish into the box.
        A longer gaff is useful for fish that stay farther from the boat. Choose your gaffs wisely.

Cleaning Up

Dolphin fishing can be messy. Keep a bucket and cleaning tools handy for intermittent cleaning. Dried blood can be tough to clean later.

Safety First

When heading offshore:

  • Ensure you have a life raft, life vests, an EPIRB, fire extinguishers, and foul weather gear.
  •         Safety is paramount. Always prioritize returning safely from your fishing trip.

Additional Tackle

Depending on your fishing type, carry extra:

  • Leader material
  • Hooks
  • Weights
  • Cutters
  • Sunscreen
  • Rope
  • Chum bags

Plan your trip in advance and consider any other items you might need.

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