Mahi Trolling Spread
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Ft. Pierce, Florida
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    29

    Mahi Trolling Spread

    I fish with a 24' CC out of Ft Pierce FLA that does not have any outriggers and would be interested to hear if anyone else has experience or suggestions on the trolling spread for a boat this size. I usually fish 4-5 lines with skirted ballyhoo where the two inside lines are set back just past the prop wash and weighted to a depth of a couple of feet. The two outside lines (one on each side) are set back farther and skip a skirted ballyhoo. If I have a 5th line in, it is a shot gun and way back in the center. I've also used a modified diamond approach as well. I'm targeting Mahi and have caught fish but wold be interested to hear any other suggestions......thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2012
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    I would run a daisychain of small lures with a hook in the last one right down the middle (like a little softhead bird in front of 2 or 3 little hookers, all on a 125lb mono leader) This would provide some splash and attraction and also give you an option to your ballyhoo spread.
    This will look like flying fish which dolphin love. I have caught a lot of dolphin and several sailfish on this rig. I typically would have a V pattern with my daisychain leading the way. Troll as close to weedlines and debri as you can. Water temp can be critical, especially in colder months. You typically won't find dolphin in water colder than 70 degrees. They would prefer 78 +/- 1 degree. Good luck! Oh, and don't waste much time in cloudy/green water inside of 60'. I would run offshore until I saw conditions that said "fish here"!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2011
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    Jupiter
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    I think confidence in what you do is key, so that you will spend time on the water doing it, and paying attention for the other clues -- birds, rips, temp breaks, debris, etc. Make your baits swim well and put them in front of fish. This is more important than what color or style skirt or lure.

    You could put chuggers on the ballys; you could run one or two naked if you aren't already; you could run a squid chain teaser; you could use a planer to put one even deeper. Ilander lures are super popular to run over a bally, and I also like the Iland hood as a way to weight and protect a still relatively naked ballly. I love to have a billy bait in my spread.

  4. #4
    Editor FS Jeff's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    Treasure Coast, FL
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    368
    Sounds like you have a good spread going, OP. And good followup suggestions. I fish similar boat, similar waters.

    Only thing I'll add is that dolphin fishing will probably get pretty good here in the next few weeks. Find a day between fronts and good chance there'll be fish just offshore of the 76-degree F edge. Usually a great push in late January-February period. We'll see!
    Jeff Weakley

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Ft. Pierce, Florida
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    Thanks for the comments...I think I'll try some of the ideas to add a little "splash" to my spread.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Ft. Pierce, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by FS Jeff View Post
    Sounds like you have a good spread going, OP. And good followup suggestions. I fish similar boat, similar waters.

    Only thing I'll add is that dolphin fishing will probably get pretty good here in the next few weeks. Find a day between fronts and good chance there'll be fish just offshore of the 76-degree F edge. Usually a great push in late January-February period. We'll see!
    I'm with you....waiting for the weather to break a little so I can get out. I fished up till mid-Dec before going North for the holidays and was doing pretty well. Haven't been able to get out for the last week or two because of the weather. Hopefully things will change and I can get back out to the gulf stream. Nothing like blue water and mahi......sure beats -30 and snow.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    May 2015
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    Alberta, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garysmo View Post
    I'm with you....waiting for the weather to break a little so I can get out. I fished up till mid-Dec before going North for the holidays and was doing pretty well. Haven't been able to get out for the last week or two because of the weather. Hopefully things will change and I can get back out to the gulf stream. Nothing like blue water and mahi......sure beats -30 and snow.
    I hear ya...currently drilling through 18" of ice here at home to get my fishing fix, my June trip to Marathon can't come soon enough....

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    231
    the guys in the nawth east seem to love daisy chains and spreader bars for tuna, mahi etc.

    I have been wanting to try a couple little jet type lures in a chain for blackfin and mahi

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2011
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    Atlanta, Ga
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    2,653
    I think You have it. We usually run and gun..But here is what I like
    outrigger with small blue and white chugger, rod holder billy baits over a ballyhoo, shotgun small tuna feather (purple and black mini islander), other holder larger chugger, rigger naked ballyhoo.
    If on weedline or floater add a diving plug.
    We always have someone on bow casting a jig and that usually brings the fish to the boat causing everyone to start clearing lines and pitching live baits and chunks.

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