The key to finding dolphin is to look for areas that feature the right water temperature, floating debris, and baitfish. Trolling along weed and current lines, and around floating debris, buoys and oil rigs, is the easiest way to locate dolphin. When a school is found, leave the first fish caught in the water. Give it just enough line so the fish can swim around in a ten-foot circle. More often than not, this will keep the entire school around the boat long enough for all anglers to take a few more fish. (It's not a bad idea to use a modicum of good judgement and quit before the entire school is taken.)

Dolphin can also be located by looking for working birds on the offshore grounds. Sometimes a lone frigate bird will lead anglers to a huge fish or two. Always check them out. Larger groups of birds often indicate fast-moving schools of smaller dolphin.

Tactics: Fishing Flotsam

In dolphin country, anglers are overcome by a great anxiety when they spot a nice log up ahead. Could a big bull dolphin be lurking under such an excellent chunk of debris? When you pass any kind of floating object in blue water, study the water around it carefully for signs of bait and the dolphin themselves.

Big dolphin must be approached slowly. Move within casting distance of the flotsam and drop a popper, jig, spoon or swimming plug next to it. Then start your retrieve. If a dolphin is under the debris, it'll usually cream the artificial immediately. Once you feel the weight of the fish, set the hook hard.

Sometimes dolphin will hold far below a piece of flotsam. In this case, work the depths with deep jigs or send down a live bait with a sinker and let it swim around. Downriggers and planers are also useful for targeting deep-holding dorado.