Capt. Shawn Rotella unlocks the secrets of mahi mahi fishing. From spotting elusive dolphin fish to mastering the art of trolling, this video offers a deep-sea journey into the world of dolphin fishing.
Mahi Mahi Trolling Tactics with Captain Shawn Rotella(01:07:16)
- Background: Captain Shawn Rotella breaksdown lure trolling for yellowfin tuna
- Be Prepared: A shift from big game fishing to mahi mahi fishing in Kona.
- The Mystery of the Floating Debris: How flotsam becomes a fishing opportunity.
- Trolling Techniques: Key strategies around debris.
- Adapting and Overcoming: The importance of versatility in fishing.
- A Glimpse into Dolphin Trolling: An overview of the dolphin trolling technique.
- Understanding Dolphin Fish Behavior: Insights into their preferences and behaviors.
The Morning Surprise
Key Aspects for Success
- Trolling Lures - Our initial trolling spread for mahi consisted of 5 inch squid pattern lures, trolled at 1-2 knots with the current. Compact, erratic lures often draw savage strikes.
- Locate Floating Structure - Mahi mahi love to hang around floating debris. Marking flotsam with a buoy allows you to work the area thoroughly.
- Mixed Spread - Prospect the structure by trolling a mix of fast moving lures (pencil poppers, cedar plugs) and live baits. Cover water until you dial in on what they want.
- Work the Area - Make repeated passes around the flotsam, moving in and out. Keep baits and lures near the structure, but not too close.
- Live Bait Control - Free spool baits on bites and use a bait tickler or bridle to stir them up. Nervous baits get bit!
- Changing Things Up - Be prepared to switch tactics when the dolphin get spooky. Try chunking bait or trolling bait strips to keep them in the area.
The Mystery of the Floating Debris
While trolling, the keen eyes of Capt. Shawn Rotella caught sight of floating debris, a natural magnet for dolphin fish. The presence of such flotsam presented an enticing opportunity.
Trolling Techniques Near Debris
- Prospect the Debris: Begin by trolling in the vicinity of the debris using a combination of pencil poppers and rigged live bait.
- Understand the Current: Trolling speed adjusts with the current. On this particular day, the crew trolled at 1 knot against the current and about 2.5 knots with it.
- Mark Your Territory: Given that flotsam can sometimes be barely visible below the surface, marking it with a buoy ensures you don't lose sight.
- The Debris Dance: Start with lures, then introduce baits. As the mahi mahi become more reserved on the lures, bait becomes the preferred choice. The trick is to keep making passes by the debris without encroaching on their territory.
Adapting and Overcoming
- Diverse Gear: Having a range of lures, baits, rigs, and gear ready is paramount.
- Versatility: Sometimes, the plan doesn't pan out. That's when knowledge of multiple fishing techniques becomes invaluable. Whether it's converting live baits into strips or chunks or knowing when to change tactics altogether, adaptability is key.
- Reading the Mahi Mahi: These creatures can become wary or "spooky" over time. Recognizing this change and switching tactics, like chunking or dragging strips, can reignite their interest.
A Glimpse into Mahi Mahi Trolling
- Locate: Look for tell-tale signs of dolphin fish.
- Setup: Equip with the right trolling gear.
- Speed: Find the optimal trolling speed.
- Observe: Watch for those exhilarating strikes.
- Reel In: Patience and skill are your best allies.
Understanding the Picky Dolphin Fish
- Water Conditions: Clear, calm waters often make them more discerning.
- Bait Selection: Live bait, like pilchards, often holds an edge over dead bait.
- Presentation: The speed and method of trolling can make all the difference.
- Fishing Pressure: Overfished areas can make dolphin fish more wary.
- Time of Day: Early mornings or late afternoons might prove more fruitful.
User ReviewsThere are no reviews yet.
Captain Rotella, the acclaimed mastermind behind Night Runner Sport Fishing, offers a unique deep-sea fishing experience in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. With a state-of-the-art 38' custom-built vessel, he provides a diverse array of charters, including Giant Blue Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Yellow Fin Tuna, Wahoo, and other species. Rotella's commitment to customer service, world-renowned lure crafting skills, and family-friendly atmosphere make his charter service a beacon for fishing enthusiasts worldwide.Read more