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I will be here June

m9000m9000 Senior MemberPosts: 2,188 Captain
Ran over this spot yesterday.  A 25 inch gag came up enough to hit a stretch 25 pulled over the rock, and he was promptly released.  

We went 1 for 3 on kings.  One fish bit a rubber ballyhoo in half and cut the 40 lb braided wire.  The 3rd cut the main line ahead of the 2 ft leader.  The keeper king was only 10 lbs and has already visited the smoker.  I saw more bait offshore than 2 weeks ago, but the number and size of the bait schools still hasn't reached the normal levels of this time of year.

We ran  into a school of 40-50, 16-19 inch dolphin in 54 ft and kept 4.  Water visibility in 54 ft was very good and the temp was 78.3°.  

Ended up chumming for spanish on Seahorse and water visibility was lousy.  We got only 3 spanish.

The swells were an issue until about 9 am, but after that the water slicked out beyond 40 ft. No rain offshore, but we saw a big thunderstorm onshore from 15 miles out around 3 pm. All in all a good day on the water.


  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Senior Member Citrus CtyPosts: 1,598 Captain
  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 Senior Member HorseshoePosts: 968 Officer
    awesome,would love to run into some dolphins this year
  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 Senior Member HorseshoePosts: 968 Officer
    how did u see the dolphins, around something floating, where there birds, it be nice if we can find a way to get dialed in to finding dolphins 
  • m9000m9000 Senior Member Posts: 2,188 Captain
    edited May 2018 #5

    Catching dolphin out of Cedar Key is a rare event based on my experience. In 25 years of fishing offshore, I have caught dolphin only three or four times. We've always been deeper than 50 feet of water with very good water clarity when we saw dolphin. 


    The first time I caught dolphin off of Cedar Key, we were running to grouper spot in 70 feet of water in June and ran across an 8 foot 2 x 4 in 60 feet of water that had a school of peanut dolphin around it. We caught about 10 or so using cut bait with the usual, keep one in the water until you hook another one before you remove the first hooked fish. On two occasions, dolphin showed up around the boat when we were anchored grouper fishing in about 60-70 feet and we managed to boat some of them. I usually keep a couple of spinning rounds with small buck tail jigs ready when grouper fishing in the warm water months in case dolphin show up.


    The case yesterday was different. My fishing buddy wanted to catch what we thought were bonita crashing some small baitfish.  He threw a medium-size buck tail jig at the commotion, hooked up and a peanut dolphin jumped about 3 feet in the air. When he brought the hooked fish close to the boat, about 40 schoolmates showed up. My fishing buddy had never caught a dolphin, so he was pretty excited about his first and we chased them for a while due to the novelty for him.  They didn't respond to the usual, keep one hooked fish in the water and we had to look around to find the disturbances to relocate the school and hook more fish.  


    I would estimate that I see peanut dolphin (fish) near the boat once every 20 trips in the warm water months, when fishing out of Cedar Key, when deeper than 50 feet. They are not common enough to target out of Cedar Key, but show up on rare occasions. I try to be ready for them by having a couple of 10 pound class spinning rods with small buck tail jigs rigged and ready under the T top.  When they show up, you may have only seconds to get a bait to them, so the rods have to be pre-rigged with bait/jigs and easily accessed. Current regulations in the Gulf of Mexico state that there is no size limit on dolphin. The dolphin we got yesterday were 18 – 19 inches long and the filets from a single fish of that size (1.2 lbs) make a decent sandwich, but I wouldn't want to clean more than about five of them.

    If you want to catch dolphin, you will burn less gas by towing to the keys and running a couple miles beyond the reef, but they do add a lot of excitement on rare days when they show up.


  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 Senior Member HorseshoePosts: 968 Officer
    thanks m we fish in 50-70 ft and it would just be neat on the way out there to figure out what to look for in hopes of catching some, we caught some last year in 50 ft under a small cooler lid, thanks for the info
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet Senior Member TallahasseePosts: 5,807 Admiral
    Nice report,we found some similar sized mahi in about 70’ on Saturday in the nw region.  Buddy was riding back to the hill in the tower and saw them on a crab pot. Caught them for a while and kept 3
    You should have been here yesterday
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