The Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi)

By Buck Davidson

A sheet of ordinary plywood seldom generates much excitement; unless, of course, you happen to be aboard an offshore sportsfishermen trolling in Florida waters. Charter boat captains head for that floating plywood like moths to a candle - all in search of the delectable bundles of turquoise dynamite known as dolphin.

Easily the most brilliantly-colored fish to inhabit Floridas waters, dolphin have become widely known by their Hawaiian name of mahi-mahi; this to avoid confusing them with the marine mammals of "Flipper " fame. They are caught nearly year-round in the Keys and south Florida, venturing north to suncoast waters during the summer months. Dolphin are a very structure-oriented gamefish, ordinarily hanging around weedlines or various pieces of flotsam - Ive taken lots of dolphin off of nothing more than 3 pieces of 2x4 about 2 ft. long nailed into a triangular shape. A barrel, drum or the aforementioned plywood drifting around the Gulf Stream will often hold hundreds of these critters. Simply troll by the structure and wait for them to find you. If theyre about, they will slam whatever you happen to be dragging at the time with a ferocious strike.