Bottle-nose dolphin are awe-inspiring hunters, and they can quickly decimate your chances of catching fish in a normally productive spot. Many’s the time I’ve eased up to a favorite shoreline or flat only to see a fired-up dolphin going off like a pipe bomb. Goodbye fish. Instead of cursing their presence, however, I usually marvel at their power and grace. And I use what I see to my advantage down the line. If I see dolphin actively feeding on a shoreline, flat, or other area I usually ignore, I make a mental note of the time and tide and fish it the next time conditions are comparable. Though dolphin eat a wide variety of fish — especially mullet — they seem to relish snook and redfish, at times wolfing down specimens of surprisingly large size. (On a recent trip my girlfriend and I were tracking a school of big bull reds when she saw a dolphin gliding close. “Not to worry”, I said in a deep, knowing voice, “they have no interest in fish of that size.” No sooner had I spoken the words than the dolphin hit the jets, smashed into the school with stunning violence and emerged with a monstrous redfish flopping sideways in its grinning jaws like a chew toy. Humility comes in many forms). Point is, there isn’t a more efficient, dominant predator in God’s green seas, and if you frequent spots where they feed you’ll find fish.
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