Head Offshore

By: Capt. Bruce Andersen

Summer is here! And in the Florida Keys, that usually means that both the mahi fishing and the daytime temperatures are red hot! As hot as it may be out, it’s always a little cooler offshore and I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day than to chase mahi out in the gulf stream.

Mahi-mahi or dolphin, as most of the locals call them, have got to be the most popular fish to target in the Florida Keys. Everybody loves them and people come from all over the world to get in on the great mahi fishing here this time of year. There are so many reasons why mahi fishing is so popular. They’re so fun to catch. They’re strong fighters that jump multiple times while being reeled in, they’re great eating, usually readily available most of the summer, and have the beautiful tropical colors that make for such a great trophy.

On my charter boat, the Captain Easy, I’ll spend most of my days from mid-May through the summer heading offshore in search of these fish, with the month of June usually being the best fishing of the year. On most of my charters we’ll start out catching some live bait and then head right offshore. We usually won’t stop until we see the right signs to tell us we’re in the zone! Normally I’ll start fishing anywhere from 12 to 20 miles offshore and work our way out as far as 25 or 30 miles all depending on how far out the fish have been. We’ll spend a good part of the day running and covering ground, looking for signs like birds, floating pieces of debris, big Sargasso weed patches and weed lines. We’ll also troll lures or dead ballyhoo while we’re hunting for all of these clues. Once we find the fish we’ll switch right to the spinning tackle and start casting live baits, such as cigar minnows, pilchards, dead ballyhoo or squid, or cut bait and catch the majority of the fish on 20 pounds spinning tackle, which makes for a very exciting fight.

Once you get on the fish, the action can be very fast paced. Sometimes you might have 40 smaller schoolie size fish right behind the boat racing around fighting over your baits. Other times you might have a small pack of much bigger “slammer” size mahi charging in to eat your baits! There aren’t many activities more exciting than getting in on a great dolphin bite offshore of the Keys! Give me a call and let’s see if we can get you in on the action!

— www.captaineasycharters.com
You can reach Captain Bruce Andersen at Capt. Easy Charters,
MM 85, call 305.360.2120 or email at: captbrucekey@comcast.net