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Fishing for Dolphin Around Floating Debris
When you are heading offshore for a day of dolphin fishing, one of the best scenarios you can unfold is happening upon some type of floating debris. This is one of those holy grail moments that can change the entire day. The key is to first spot the debris and the next is to mark it with some type of weighted float. The debris or flotsam can be anything from a floating bucket, styrofoam buoy, a pallet, a submerged tree, cargo nets or general trash. In the middle of the open ocean, these types of objects will aggregate fish. A food chain develops and will do so around the tiniest bits of floating waste. Do not pass these types of items by without probing for dolphin or even wahoo.
Encountering floating debris can really simplify your day. You may be able to bag a few big fish or even fill you box right there with dolphin. There may be no further need to keep running offshore to your desired destination. Take your time and fish floating debris the right way.
Game planning for the scenario where you spot something in the water is critical to your dolphin fishing success. You need to be prepared, because you could be running wide open. If you pass that floating debris and don't mark it, you may not find it again. Have a throwable floating device handy. A weighted styrofoam buoy is great to toss over and navigate back to. Remember to approach the floating debris with caution. You don't want to spook any fish around it.
Let's play this out a bit. You have spotted something in the water and have marked it with a throwable floating marker of some kind. As you throttle back, what is your game plan for approaching the debris? You should consider the direction of the current and the prevailing winds. Being conscious of the way you are traveling relative to the current will allow you to get back on course to your final destination. If you catch fish, that's great. But, what if you hook into a couple of bigger fish and the battle lasts 10 minutes or more? You have drifted with the current while fighting the fish. You have, at this point, drifted off course. Again, be conscious of the current, wind speeds and direction.
Another key element to fishing for dolphin around floating debris is how far you should stay away and how to fish it. You should always stop well short of the floating debris. Let's say 100 feet. That is a good distance to survey the area. Never get right on top of the flotsam or tie up to it. You can pick fish off, drift a bit, motor back over and do the same thing.
Keep in mind, as your boat drifts, the dolphin may head back to the debris, so you will need to reposition on the object and start the process over. Your boat may have even drifted out of sight of the object. How do you find it again? This is where the throwable device comes into play. You can also squirt some menhaden oil in the water near your floating device.
The big question is how to fish debris for dolphin. There are a couple of great methods that you can take advantage of to target fish. You can cast baits or troll around the object. If you decide to cast baits, you can use either chunk baits or live baits. Throw a couple of baits, catch a few fish, go back to get more over and over. Remember to keep a healthy stand off distance. If you decide to troll baits for dolphin, you should also not troll too close to the object. The dolphin will come off to check out your baits. You certainly don't want to snag the object with your trolled baits. Do a couple of circles around the object and see what happens. You may decide to troll and then cast baits. If this fails to trigger any bites, drop a few diamond jigs down and see if any wahoo have set up 100 feet below the floating debris.
Whatever you decide to do, being prepared and game planning scenarios will improve your chances of catching dolphin on floating debris. Have your throwable device and oil handy. Your rods, baits, chum bag and anglers should be at the ready. Keeping your eyes open and scanning the water as you run offshore can turn a slow day into an epic day of dolphin fishing.
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Total time: 15:21