Dolphin 30 lbs plus. Are those days over?

I am curious as I don't see a lot of pictures of 30,40,50 lb dolphin. 
When I ran my Charter boat out of Key West in the mid 90's to mid 2000,s. These fish were caught regularly. Not 50lbs so much. But they were caught.
Also multiple 40lb plus Wahoo were not uncommon. 
 I just wonder if fishing has changed that much?
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Replies

  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,219 Captain
    i am same thinking.
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  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,970 Captain
    edited June 23 #3
    Fisheries are in cycles, if the small ones we are seeing now have a chance, next year and the year after will be good unless the mid Atlantic longliners get them first. Still don't see the big schools of the old days now it seems is many singles or small schools. 

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    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 642 Officer
    Not a good sign for the fish when Mahi is the catch of the day on every menu in every restaurant in the world.
  • capt.cohocapt.coho Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    my neighbor went out everyday the first week of June. When everyone was complaining off slow fishing he managed two fish over 60, on over 50 and a few in the 40s with limits everyday, and he genuinely sucks at fishing. He found most of his fish in less than 400 feet on a naked pre rigged hoo
  • rivamunstasteverivamunstasteve Posts: 611 Officer
    I’m only 30 years old, but I’ve done my fair share of offshore fishing. Back in the 90’s and the early 2000s 30 /40 pound fish were common. I’ve seen it decline enough where I won’t keep more than 7 fish on any given trip. 
    I do see a lot of posts on Instagram and Facebook of people catching 30,40,50,60 fish that are all 20 inches . I have seen the commercial fisheries quota rising to 2.5 million pounds (down to 1.5 this year big drop). 
    I have seen a few charters boats scoring with big fish, but they go out every-single-day. They are destined to run into them before we do. 
    In the past 4 years I’ve gone on 51 offshore trips and have managed four 30 ish pound fish (with 15/20 pounds being more common). I did miss two also. The ocean used to be polluted with them. When I go out I say to myself “the chances of getting a 30 pounder is 2/25.” 😞

  • rivamunstasteverivamunstasteve Posts: 611 Officer
    I do respect people’s choices of how many and what they harvest. And I do know when I’m riding out I am 😊. 
    I’d like to see a newer regulation on them personally. 
  • tijeretatijereta Posts: 215 Deckhand
    I believe in scientifically based regulations, but they only apply in our country. One of the problems with dolphin is that it is a migrating fish and we don't control what other countries do. 
  • mikeloewmikeloew Posts: 327 Deckhand
    CaptJ said:
    Not a good sign for the fish when Mahi is the catch of the day on every menu in every restaurant in the world.
    Maybe, but I suspect that on a good day 5% on the menu is really Mahi. It is unbelievable how many restaurants and suppliers lie about what fish are really what.   
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  • rivamunstasteverivamunstasteve Posts: 611 Officer
    They do get hit hard everywhere pretty much
  • ThrottleThrottle Posts: 2,830 Captain
    bone said:
    Catching and keeping 40-60 mahi is just stupid.   Frozen mahi is just not very good. I'm sure most gets tossed after sitting in a freezer for a year. I personally will not freeze it. We eat it fresh til it's gone. So limit your take. Pull big baits and target bigger fish. The limit should be 10 a boat. Recreational fishermen need to look in the mirror at the decline of this fishery. I laugh at the pictures posted of 4 drunk guys with 40 22" mahi. Real tough. 
    I don't think it's ever "recreational fishermen" who need to look in the mirror. If the resource is stressed to the point where reduced takes are necessary, recreational fishermen who likely get skunked on fins more often than they take even one are not the fishermen who need to be subject to more stringent limits.
  • bonebone Posts: 1,079 Officer
    edited June 25 #13
    From April through July schools of peanut and schoolie mahi are hammered from key west to the outer banks of North Carolina has they migrate north.  These are the 30-50 pounders in 2 years. Commercial landings brought to Florida ports are about 400000 pounds a year. Or about 40000 10 pound fish. That amount could be caught in just one month recreational in the keys. Our mahi for the most part migrate in a pattern that makes them only accessible to the USA and maybe the Bahamas. Of course there are exceptions but I truly believe that it is our problem to solve. 
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,260 Officer
    Fog said:
    I am curious as I don't see a lot of pictures of 30,40,50 lb dolphin. 
    When I ran my Charter boat out of Key West in the mid 90's to mid 2000,s. These fish were caught regularly. Not 50lbs so much. But they were caught.
    Also multiple 40lb plus Wahoo were not uncommon. 
     I just wonder if fishing has changed that much?

    YES
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,844 Captain
    bone said:
    Catching and keeping 40-60 mahi is just stupid.   Frozen mahi is just not very good. I'm sure most gets tossed after sitting in a freezer for a year. I personally will not freeze it. We eat it fresh til it's gone. So limit your take. Pull big baits and target bigger fish. The limit should be 10 a boat. Recreational fishermen need to look in the mirror at the decline of this fishery. I laugh at the pictures posted of 4 drunk guys with 40 22" mahi. Real tough. 


    I'll disagree here.  Mahi keeps well IMo better than yellowtails by far.  I have been guilty of kepping 50 school fish many times.  However, I fish in the keys 1 week out of the year, and none of it is ever wasted.  If I am not going to get through all the fish I bring back I make my coworkers very happy.  I would much rather find a big 40 lb mahi but they are few and far between now.  This year in 8 days offshore fishing we got one 30 pounds and 1 25.  We didn't even see or lose any other big fish.  Last year I think was about the same. 

    I don't think recreational guys getting 50 fish and leaving them biting by noon a couple days a year is the problem.  The charter guys do it every day for 3 months or more. 

    The lack of big ones means these fish aren't even making it to 2 or 3 years...Longliners?

  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,844 Captain
    Also, if your frozen mahi isn't tasting good, you need a vac sealer and need to trim the bloodline off completely.
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,844 Captain
    capt.coho said:
    my neighbor went out everyday the first week of June. When everyone was complaining off slow fishing he managed two fish over 60, on over 50 and a few in the 40s with limits everyday, and he genuinely sucks at fishing. He found most of his fish in less than 400 feet on a naked pre rigged hoo

    I would love to see pictures of 2 fish over 60 pounds
  • Rzack25Rzack25 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    edited June 25 #18
    Fifty miles out of John's Pass we anchored down fishing for Red Snapper,Grouper and this bull came swimming around the boat. We started throwing cut bait to him. He broke off twice before we were able to get a top water plug in the water and the rest was history. He weighted 28 lbs  
  • BullMarketBullMarket Posts: 186 Deckhand
    I would personally like to see them reduce the limit from 10 to 5 per person.  I don't think it would hurt anybody to do that and the charter boats can still kill 30 fish which should be more than enough to make their clients happy. There are many chapter boats in the Keys up to Miami that will take 50-60 fish per day and do it 5+ days a week.  That can't be too good for the population. 
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  • xeniaxenia Posts: 307 Deckhand
    If mahi are really that fast growing, then why not raise the size limit?  When I was longlining swords in the 70s we frequently had schools of fish where all were over 10 lbs around the boat as we pulled in the line.  We rarely messed with them since they had little market value back then and we wanted to get our line in and get the sword catch to market.  We would sometimes have 30-40 lb bulls grab one of the longline baits as we were pulling them in.  I see photos and videos of commercial fishing for mahi in other parts of the world were every fish in the catch is 15-20 lbs or bigger.  My father rarely fished them off Cuba in the 40s and 50s, but when he did he'd fill the boat with fish all over 15 lbs.  There is a ton of fresh mahi being imported into S. FL, and they are all cores weighing around 15 lbs.  But off South Florida and the Keys the average size seems to be around 5 lbs, and many schools consist of fish much smaller than that!  If we are serious about wanting bigger fish, shouldn't we increase the size limit?  What would you rather have, 30 mahi of 5 lbs, or 15 mahi of 10 lbs?  Same total weight, but you killed half the number of fish.  I agree, there aren't as many 30-40 lb mahi in our waters as there used to be.  As to commercial mahi landings in Florida, landings data shows that the bast majority of that catch comes from the St. Augustine to Jacksonville area.  The mahi caught up there are landed far offshore, and are larger fish that migrate along the east side of the Bahamas or on the east side of the Gulfstream.  I've gone on long distance trips out of New Smyrna Beach to the area past the east side of the Gulfstream and the mahi you find out there are usually 20 lbs and up.  None of those 18"-20" lizards.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 307 Deckhand
    Here is a screen shot of a recently-posted video of mahi landed using a purse seine off Brazil.  The fish were all alive in the video as they just got dumped in the hold.  Notice how the size of the fish in this huge school is much larger than the size of the fish in the schools we encounter off S. FL.  Again, when was the last time anyone on this forum encountered a school of Mahi off S. FL where every fish in the school was at least 10-15 lbs?  I don't mean a school of 3 fish either, I mean a school where if you netted them you'd haul in 10,000 lbs or more.

  • canyonrunnercanyonrunner Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    I do respect people’s choices of how many and what they harvest. 
    I used too,  but I have a weekly rental across the street from me .  Yearly I see everything from angel fish and undersize grouper on the dock to full  coolers of just legal or just under dolphin. There are many many guys just here for a week a year that think I'm on only here a week a year I'm loading up. Far more fish than the charter guys.
    Boggles the mind to think of how many fish are killed in the keys every summer.  I'm all for lower limits  
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,215 Captain
    edited June 25 #23
    xenia said:
    Here is a screen shot of a recently-posted video of mahi landed using a purse seine off Brazil.  The fish were all alive in the video as they just got dumped in the hold.  Notice how the size of the fish in this huge school is much larger than the size of the fish in the schools we encounter off S. FL.  Again, when was the last time anyone on this forum encountered a school of Mahi off S. FL where every fish in the school was at least 10-15 lbs?  I don't mean a school of 3 fish either, I mean a school where if you netted them you'd haul in 10,000 lbs or more.

    "Based on that photo I think the recreational limit of dolphin needs to be restricted due to overfishing" --FWC


  • canyonrunnercanyonrunner Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    http://www.floridasportsman.com/2012/10/01/where-do-dolphin-migrate/

    This suggest  , "our" dolphin go no where near
    the  photo.

    More like carribean and up and down U.S. coast line 

    Are our dolphin our problem? 

    But  I get it's a joke,


  • FogFog Posts: 64 Greenhorn
    I certainly don't know what the answer is, but it saddens me  that fishing has changed so drastically in such a short period of time.
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 644 Officer
    edited June 25 #26
    Fog said:
    I certainly don't know what the answer is, but it saddens me  that fishing has changed so drastically in such a short period of time.
    It has been slowly declining over the last 5-10 years , but now we are seeing it get worse the last few years . Several factors causing this , it will not get any better unless they raise the size and lessen the limit . And even doing that would only improve it so much . 
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 644 Officer
     We regularly catch fish in the 50-60lb class while marlin fishing in CR . What would be a stud fish here , we pass off to the new guy so we don't lose our spot in the rotation . Then coming back here and going fishing , it really puts things in perspective as to the decline of our fishery . We used to catch large fish here (otherside) , but now trophy sized ones are non-existent . There is a lot of commercial pressure in our waters , and outside of it as well . 

    Here's one from last month 

  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 644 Officer

  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 644 Officer
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 644 Officer
    As of June 11th, 2018, 656 dolphinfish have been tagged and released throughout our tagging zones by 66 captains in 170 outings.  Of those releases, 8 are recaptures recorded along the U.S. East Coast, 2 are return migrants from fish released last August, and 4 are satellite tags movements.  In the first week of June alone, the Killin' Time IIFishing Team, led by Captain Don Gates, tagged and released 207 dolphin, 5 of which have been recaptured (as of 6/11).  This effort alone represents a 2.4% recapture rate.  To read more about movements of dolphin along the U.S. East Coast over the past few months, click here.


    https://beyondourshores.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/June-2018-Dolphinfish-Research-Program-Newsletter.pdf?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content= click here&utm_campaign=Dolphinfish Research Program June 2018 eNewsletter
  • rivamunstasteverivamunstasteve Posts: 611 Officer
    Pje: nice pics and info. 
     It would be nice to see something done by Fwc, the south Atlantic fisheries,  and adjacent countries. My generation doesn’t fish like the others. A bunch of my Friends refuse to spend money (that our generation doesn’t have ) to go out and catch a few 20 inch fish.
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