Dolphin Fishing - Rigs and Strip Baits

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Instructor: RJ Boyle

To successfully fish for dolphins offshore, have a variety of trolling rigs ready for use when encountering birds, debris, or currents. Begin your chunking, chumming, and oil program by keeping fish behind the boat. Use appropriate lures and jigs, such as mono and wire, and add strips for durability. Proper rigs and baits are crucial for catching dolphins.

Description / Review / Instructor

In this video, we'll explore a variety of dolphin fishing rigs featuring S. Florida fisherman RJ Boyle.

Trolling Rigs

We'll begin with trolling rigs and then delve into jigs suitable for times when the mahi mahi aren't biting the chunk baits you offer. You'll get to see rigs both with and without strip baits, rigged with mono and wire.

Trolling Tips

  • Keep it Simple: When trolling for dolphin, it's best to use no more than two rods.
  • Be Prepared: Once you hook a fish, be ready to switch to chunking, chumming, and using oil to keep the fish attracted to your boat.
  • Look for Signs: Birds, floating debris, weedlines, and current edges are all good indicators.
  • Positioning: Your trolling rigs should be placed way back. Ensure your setup is minimal to handle the school efficiently after catching your first fish.


We'll introduce several dolphin trolling rigs:

  • Lead head lures
  • Trolling skirts
  • The classic dawn patrol bullet head lure from Roddy Hays.

You'll learn how to rig these lures for optimal dolphin fishing. Remember, this is about speed and efficiency. Once you hook a fish, be ready for a flurry of activity with potentially 30 or 40 more catches.


Most catches will occur after you've hooked a fish and drawn the school to your boat. The key then is to use chum, chunking, and menhaden oil to keep the fish engaged.


When fish aren't attracted by chunks, jigs come in handy:

  • Bucktail jigs are a top pick.
  • Consider diamond jigs for situations like a floating pallet or tree.
  • Watch out for wahoo near this debris. If the dolphin bite slows, use the diamond jigs to catch some wahoo.
  • Drone spoons paired with a planer are excellent for pulling wahoo from floating debris.

DIY Rigs

We'll provide comprehensive demonstrations on crafting these dolphin fishing rigs. From tying the line to the hook, adding a bonito strip, incorporating the lure, and mastering the knots or crimps, every step will be covered.

Note: Bonito strips can increase your chances of a catch, especially if the fish misses the first time. They're durable baits. If you're curious about preparing strip baits, watch here.


Trolling rigs are your best bet for that initial dolphin bite. Once you've got that first catch, it's all about the chunking process. For more insights, check out our other dolphin fishing videos.

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User Reviews

David Smith 06.21.2022

David Groom 04.23.2022


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