October has arrived and with it will be the start of slightly cooling water temperatures. The waters to our north will cool down faster than the Treasure Coast and this will start our fall mahi run. This is when the mahi start heading south through our area. The fall mahi run does not usually last as long as the spring run but there will be more mahi in our area than during the summer months. The size of the mahi this time of year are not usually as large as the gaffers that can be caught during the spring run, but you can still catch a good size mahi.
Trolling is one of the better-known methods for targeting mahi during the fall run. Multitudes of live bait will be in the area to catch, including the mullet run. You can net the mullet and use them as live bait to catch mahi. Normal tackle set-up used when trolling for mahi is 20-30 pounds, but when live bait trolling, use a 50-pound leader as it will be less noticeable at a slower speed. When trolling with live bait, keep your baits spread out at different distances behind your boat and always keep one in your prop-wash.
If you are having problems finding the mahi or don’t have as much live bait, a faster trolling method to cover more ground when targeting mahi is to use rigged ballyhoo and colorful trolling lures. Ballyhoo and lures can be trolled at higher speeds when looking for a mahi hookup. When trolling these baits, 30-pound tackle will still be sufficient but I would suggest using 60-80 pound leader to compensate for the higher speeds (since it is moving faster it won’t be seen as easily as slower live bait trolling speed). Whichever trolling bait preference you choose or have available, make sure to always use mono main line instead of braid, you will want the stretch for the trolling strike.
Be sure to keep your eyes out for debris clusters from storms, weed lines and rips. If you see any, slow troll around the edge of the area or idle and pitch a live bait toward your find, a mahi may be sitting under or around the area. If you are doing any bottom fishing, keep a live bait in the water on a long line away from the boat. Mahi can be caught in the open water.
The water conditions will start getting rougher when the cool fronts start moving in so get out on the water and enjoy some time catching!