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Port Canaveral Mahi Mahi

Trolling For Big Game Species Like Dolphin Is Exciting For Everyone

Tuesday January 23, 2018

During April, May and June the dolphin or mahi-mahi make their way north traveling along the gulf stream and weed lines at Port Canaveral Florida. One of the best ways to pursue these gamefish is to troll ballyhoo or live baits behind your boat.

"It was exciting watching these fish launch on the baits and jump when they got hooked up!" explained the anglers above. "We caught several dolphin and I still can't believe the colors they put out when hooked up. Green, blue yellow and even a hint of pink light up as are ripping up the water behind the boat it's an awesome site."

"On the way back from trolling for dolphin Captain Richard stopped for a couple of cobia free swimming and showed us how to hookup with light tackle on really giant fish. I landed a 53 pound cobia on 12 pound test! How is THAT for fun?" explained one angler.

"Because of the confusion of calling these fish the same name as flipper, the Atlantic Bottle nosed dolphin, we now try and call them mahi-mahi or the Spanish name Dorado. The unknowing anglers often get offended that we are pursuing marine mammals and get squeamish. Make no mistake about it, these dolphin are fish and they are great eating too." Explains Captain Richard Bradley, we don't eat or pursue any marine mammals excepting mermaids.

"When we visited Port Canaveral, Florida we trolled for Mahi Mahi and had a blast watching them explode on the baits! What a great fish to catch and good eating too."
Jason from Pennsylvania

Targeting dolphin out of Port Canaveral is best done during the spring and early summer from April till mid-June when the lion's share of the fish are heading northward along the eastern seaboard. After the initial run during the spring the fish thin out and the summer doldrums kick in. However there is still fantastic fishing for many other fishing in the central Florida coastline during the mid-summer months. Dorado or Dolphin will reappear again in the fall around November as they head back south, but typically not in the great numbers as in the springtime.

Targeting dolphin during these premium months ensure the best chances of catching the mahi mahi run up and down our coastline. Remember that these fish are typically found very far from shore and can be as far out as thirty miles and even further out for larger boats. If you are looking to go further out than 30 miles you might consider hiring a larger boat equipped for longer trips as Lagooner is not equipped to handle situations that arise further than that distance safely. Beware of Charter Captains that promise dolphin trips in excess of 30 miles that do not have a vessel capable of safely bringing you home in sudden adverse conditions. Safety should always be the first concern of passengers and anglers and many wanna-be Charter Fishing Skippers will take you beyond their safe limits. We will NEVER compromise safety for catching a fish and will never fish beyond our abilities to do so safely.

Mahi-mahi are one of the best tasting and most sought after gamefish in the world. When hooked they "light up" with bright blue green and yellow colors that are the envy of any other species.

Lagooner Charter Fishing Captains and Guides have developed time tested methods of trolling, sightfishing and live-baiting tactics to target these fast and agressive fish species. We generally target these fish in the months of May - June and then again in November and December. Remember that the fall is a tough month for recreational offshore fishing because of the winds and rough water, but the rewards for catching dolphin are tremdous for those fortunate enough to get a good day for offshore fishing for dorado off the coast of Central Florida.

OFFSHORE in warm waters in or near the gulf stream. Dolphin are migratory peligic fish that are found in every ocean in the world. They like to hang around floatsome and debre and are often found cruising large weedlines of sargasso seaweed or rip currents.

Months to pursue Dolphin
April - Big Fish Month
May - Loads of Mahi-Mahi
June - Smaller School Dolphin
November - Southward Migration


One of the fastest-growing fish, thought to live no more than five years. A dorado is capable of a swimming speed of over 50 miles an hour. Dolphin spawn in warm ocean currents throughout much of the year where their young are found in sargassum weed and they feed on flying fish and squid.

Trolling is the most traditional way of catching dolphin, but we've found that sight fishing has been producing very well the last few years and gives anglers something to do rather than sit and wait for the bite.


20" minimum to fork of tail, 10 fish per angler and not to exceed 60 per vessel possession limit.

State Record

77 lbs, 12 ozs.

Port Canaveral Trips for Dolphin, Mahi Mahi, Dorado

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 29 2016 20:34:42.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

January - 2018 Fishing Report

The Banana River comes alive during the colder months of year and January is the peak season for deep hole trout, redfish and juvenile black drum. We've been fishing the deeper canals and slews with success during the cold fronts when the water is cold and also catching some great sized fish on the flats adjacent to these holes. Look for the Banana River to improve as the winter gets colder and the fish transition to their winter haunts in pursuit of cold, stable water. Look for mature fish to seek warmth on the shallow shorelines nearby.

Fishing Forecast

January - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Is it going to be an Indian Summer this January or possibly a deep freeze Polar Vortex? These are the questions that all fishing guides want to know. Depending on how this winter plays out with temperatures, winds and other conditions will dictate how our fishing will pan out in January. Unless the water is churned up by high winds, January will produce some of the cleanest and clearest water of the year in Central Florida as colder water kills of plankton life in the lagoons and mild northeast winds often push in clearer water in the ocean. Look for great inshore fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon and Northern end of the Indian River toward Titusville. If the winds and water are all frothed up it can be a crap shoot for fishing in almost every inshore locations and will shutdown all offshore fishing due to small craft warnings and safety warnings. However, between fronts, look for some of the best fishing of the year in January both inshore and offshore in Central Florida.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Captain Richard worked hard to put fish in the boat. We were able to bring in a few big Reds and some trout, and a couple keepers to take home for dinner. It's always the hope to be able to catch lots of fish, but fishing is fishing and there are no guarantees; the time of the year we travel to Florida also has an impact on our fshing success. This last trip out with Captain Richard my wife came along and thorougly enjoyed the experience and catching the big Reds. She is looking forward to our next trip to Florida and another fishing trip with Captain Richard.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 12, 2015

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