June is the month for dolphin fishing offshore. The big dolphin of the spring are starting to fade away, but the new schools of mahi-mahi are forming up offshore and making their way up our coast. The June dolphin are the smaller sized dolphin, 3-5 pound fish or “schoolies” as we call them. They don’t last too long out there swimming around by themselves, so they school up into big congregations of fish, sometimes as many as hundreds of fish in a single school. They can be tough to find out there, as they are always moving around and it is a very big ocean. The majority of the fish this time of year are 10-14 miles offshore. I like to run out there about 10 miles offshore and start trolling. For dolphin, you just have to put in your miles ’till you find something. Keep a constant eye out for weedlines, current edges, slicks (which could indicate blood and fish oils rising to the top from fish feeding), flying fish getting chased up by something other than the boat, any kind of birds especially frigate birds, and any kind of debris you find floating. Finding something to fish to, and covering a lot of ground is the key to finding dolphin schools. Find one school, and you can load the box with fish! When you find your school of fish, pull out the 20 pound spinning tackle and bail them. Keep one dolphin fish hooked up and in the water out there, and the whole school of fish will stay nearby so that you can bail them on the light gear.
Dolphin fishing is fun in the summer months, especially June, but you do need a full day 8 hour charter to give it a real shot at dolphin fishing. If you’ve only got a half day to go fishing, stay in on the reef and go trolling for bonitos and kingfish. They action is great trolling the reef, you’ll hardly ever not be hooked up. To catch the bigger kingfish, blackfin tuna and wahoo on the reef, slow trolling live baits is very effective, especially from the downrigger. The biggest fish seem to stay deeper in the summertime, perhaps to stay in the cooler water column. The downrigger can put a live bait right in front of their face, an offer they can’t refuse. Wreck fishing can also be fun this month. Black groupers are biting good on the 80-260ft deep shipwrecks. Also barracuda, jacks, mutton snappers and sometimes cobia bite good this month live baiting around the wrecks.
Good luck out there fishing everyone. Tight Lines!
Capt. Adam Reckert
New Lattitude Sportfishing