It’s dolphin time! If you haven’t yet prepared you need to get busy.
Dolphin will be traveling north up the Gulf Stream on their spring migration. They will be on a constant feeding journey up the coast. There is a misconception that they are all out in the Gulf Stream. We do find them on the edge of the Stream, where the cooler coastal water goes from mid-70s to 80 or even higher. I find they are not always out wandering the mid-Atlantic.
Look for them on the western edge of the Stream where there is that combination of a temperature change of a degree or two, color change, combined with sargassum weed with bait underneath it. This edge, that is usually caused by two different speeds of current usually running north and south, will eventually produce fish.
Your eyes quite often will be your best way to find fish. Constant scanning of the water for anything floating, and the sky for birds will all point you towards a bite.
Ballyhoo rigged with a #7 or #8 Mustad hooks, on 60-pound to 80-pound mono leader works fine. If you like, even a small lure in front helps draw attention to your baits. I usually troll this spread of 4 to 5 baits at 5 to 6 knots. Sometimes I’ll pull some small artificials— bullet head and popper or bugler lures—if I’m trying to cover ground looking for fish, because I can pull them at 7 and 8 knots without worrying about my ballyhoo washing out.
I always have a down rigger running 50 feet to 60 feet down with a ballyhoo behind a bullet head lure. I’ll rig this on a #7 wire for the toothy wahoo and kingfish. The down line will also produce some nice dolphin in midday when the surface bite slows down. Until the dolphin show up, don’t pass up the bottom bite in 85 feet and 90 feet.
Should be a good mangand trigger fish bite, along with some kingfish and a few cobia. I’ll see you out there on the edge.
“Fish on, gotta go!”