I’ve seen a lot of people asking about they can go about catching dolphin near the nearshore live-bottoms and wrecks – so I’m going to explain to you how I go about catching them. You don’t need a big boat to go after these guys, and they’re around all summer – just pick your days, go with a friend (or better bet, another boat) and make sure you feel comfortable with your level of experience. Out of Beaufort Inlet, the best bet is to head to Northwest places (an area of live-bottom about 14 miles from the inlet). Once there, we like to make passes trolling over the ledges and humps and eventually make our way to big10/little10 (another 4 miles or so). Once you get on the bite, stick in the same area – I’ve been out there on days when little 10 is hot or when a random are in NW places is hot. Just keep working and I’d be very surprised to hear if someone was skunked.

As for tackle and spread – you don’t need more than 2 or 3 lines in the water (makes life a lot easier). I like to troll 2 “dolphin weenies” with is basically nothing more than a 12’ piece of 80lb mono with a baby mahi colored skirt and a heavy duty hook (4/0 or so). I top that off with an uncle josh pork strip (joe schute has them) or a squid strip. On the third and forth lines I like to put out a medium sized ballyhoo behind a sea witch or an islander. Recently though, we keep getting our ballyhoo bit off while the strip baits simply keep producing. The best part about the pork rinds is that you never have to put a new one on and you can just keep reusing them. Dolphin will eat anything. If I was using a downrigger, I’d do a fourth line with a ballyhoo in case there might be kings or random tuna in the area. Stager the lines to keep them from tangling and keep the light-wait strip baits on the outside. Most of our hits have come close to the boat and even when reeling in the line to check it. As for speed, keep it 7-10 mph depending on conditions – the rougher it is and the slower you go, the more you’ll get pounded.

The bite is pretty consistent. I’ve made three trips in the last ten days and have yet to be skunked. Just pick your days and be careful. Just look how happy these guys look!