Dolphin 30 lbs plus. Are those days over?

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  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 587 Officer
    xenia said:
    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.
    Yup the wild wild east...guys run out 100+ miles of Jacksonville and will catch yellow tail, muttons and hogfish that are some of the biggest I have ever seen. Since most are commercial they dont show up on instagram forums whatever but man the little window into I have seen is crazy. People also commercially spear them off south carolina a 100 miles out...MASSIVE HOGFISH it is crazy but shows what reducing pressure does-red snapper???
    we need more internet money
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