The dolphin bite seems to be heating up off Charleston.
I fished yesterday (May 12) aboard Guy Ackerman's center console, Big Tease. We cruised out to a nice temperature break in 300 feet of water and eventually zeroed in on a nice weed line that held tons of fish.
Once we settled in around that sargassum, it was all we could do to keep lines in the water, even with a crew of five. We picked at the peanuts and slingers all morning, tagging and releasing a few of the smaller fish. We also caught some nice gaffers, including a couple of 30-pound bulls (one pushed 35 pounds on our scale).
The highlight of our day came when a school of nice 20- to 30-pound fish crashed our spread. All six of our lines started to sing, and we spent the next 15 minutes handing off rods, gaffing fish, laughing, yelling and somehow maneuvering over, around and under each other. Despite tangling one line up with an old free-floating buoy marker and some unorthodox gaffing techniques, we managed to land all six dolphin.
By day's end, we had put about 40 dolphin in the fish boxes, short of our 10-fish-per-person limit but still way more fish than I've kept in a long time. We spent about 90 minutes cleaning them at the dock, and I fired up the vacuum-sealer when I got home.
I learned later that one of the boats fishing around us all day – the big sportfisher Daymaker – caught and released a white marlin to take the lead in the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament, the first event in the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series.
Radio chatter seemed to indicate that a couple of billfish were hooked but lost around that weed line.
Good luck to all the tournament boats, and tight lines!