How To Catch Fish Even When Dolphins Are Around

Do dolphins equal a dead zone?

Not necessarily.

Although dolphins can make fish go into hiding for a little while, it does not mean that you can’t still catch fish when they’re around.

In this Q&A, you’ll learn some tricks you can do when dolphins move onto your fishing turf.

Check it out below!

Will Dolphins Shut Down Fishing? VIDEO]

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A lot of anglers think that when dolphins move in, the fishing turns off completely.

The fish will still be there but probably in super shallow water or holding close to structure.

If you are fishing a spot and know the fish are there, you may want to take a break from fishing for about 20 minutes.

Generally, when there’s no activity the dolphins will leave an area.

You can even get out of your boat or kayak as this tends to scare off dolphins pretty quickly.

Also, rig up a topwater and cast it out or smack the lure down on the water.

Just this noise and vibration may help spook off dolphins in the area.

If you do catch a fish, make sure you release it in shallow water so dolphins can’t reach it.

Dolphins like an easy meal.

And the fish that you just fought is tired and vulnerable.

When a dolphin gets your fish after you release it, chances are they won’t go away for a while.


catching fish around dolphins

Just because dolphins are in the area that does not necessarily mean that there are no fish.

The bite may turn off for a little while or the fish may move closer to structure and into shallower water for protection.

Be sure to safely release your fish where dolphins cannot get an easy meal.

Otherwise, you may have to move because they won’t want to leave.

What have you experienced when fishing around dolphins?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who has lost fish to dolphins, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Bill O
1 year ago

Not much you can do in Aransas Bay, Rockport, Texas. Dolphins are all over. When I’m on my boat, I put undersized trout in the livewell to keep them alive and not to feed dolphins. I relocate them later. This helps.
Wadefishing is tough. I had a dolphin sneak up behind me once and carefully pull a trout off my stringer and taking the stringer with him. Fortunately, if felt it and was able to grab the stringer. I pulled back on the stringer to save the rest of my catch and hit the water above the dolphin with my rod to run him off. That one did not come back. I always have my stringer on a quick release setup and never tie it around my waist because I dont’ want to get dragged around the bay!.
When I know dolphins will be around, I bring one of those round floats with the net in the middle and put the fish in it. Dolphins can’t get to the fish that way.

1 year ago
Reply to  Bill O

Put undersize trout in your live well in fla and you’re looking at a violation

Neal H.
1 year ago

Thanks Tony! A topic that always crosses my mind while I am out kayak & wade fishing in/on our Texas bay systems.
I have been on big schools of trout while wading in hip to waist deep waters & have the dolphins right at my hip. They have never hit my stringer (I know they can & have to others), but these guys seem to know that those are not the meal. I have almost been knocked off of my feet by their their wake as they zoom around me to try and catch a released fish. Those magnifacent beasts can push a lot of water. I did stop fishing that wade spot & tried to work my way somewhere else. I will try some of your scare tactics next time!
Our funny story is of a dolphin invasion during a tournament… We had found and were working an epoch trout school. Prior to the arrival of a pod of dolphins, the lady fish had moved in with the trout & we started catching them as well (much to our dismay). The dolphins came and started chasing our releases, but before we quit the spot, we caught another ladyfish, and in a final act of submission to the dolphins, we tossed the ladyfish to them. Those dolphins rushed at that ladyfish and at about 1 foot away, the 2 of them turned off like they were seeing an old hotdog from 7/11. We had a good laugh at that! They didn’t want to eat the ladyfish anymore than we wanted to catch the ladyfish!
No hotdog, just filet mignon!
Tight Lines, Y’All !

Tom P.
1 year ago

Tony, Great information. This has happened to everyone. We always just moved. Great. Thank you. Tom W.

Gerald Dexter
1 year ago

When flipper comes in, we just leave, But once I could not find a spot along the Galveston jetty’s with out flipper!

robert brombach
1 year ago

I’ve had hundreds of encounters with porpoise, whether it was reef fishing in the keys or backcountry from flamingo to where I live now on the west coast! Wish there was a way to post the videos and pics here that I have! Do they ruin the area your fishing , most of the time! Are they a magnificent animal ! Truly! I’ve had them tail walk for a ladyfish, smile at me as they come up to the boat and have a conversation with you! I’ve been in 2ft or less of water and they still come up and say hi! When you start to leave it’s like a circus show for them to play! I’ve had them as we start to get on a plane come up and roll sideways so you can touch them, putting their side fins out of the water! Crisscross across the bow all the while looking right at you! Like I said some of the video and pics I have are very entertaining! Wish some people I know were as smart sometimes! 😂 lol

Gene Kolen
1 year ago

Dolphins are fish. I think porpoise the mammal is correct.

A Rollins
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Kolen

Dorado, mahi-mahi, and dolphin are all names given to one particular marine species of fish. Dolphins and porpoise are marines mammals that can be best told apart from their fins, bodies, and facial differences.

Mickey Pinson
1 year ago

This information is spot on! I ran into this “problem” about a month ago fishing with my wife and two grandkids in SW Florida. We found a good spot on some grass flats for bonnet head sharks (the kids love being sharkslayers) along with some nice trout. We were also enjoying seeing some manatees. About 6 dolphins showed up, and continued staying close. The kids loved them. I used a trolling motor and moved into shallower water, and we continued catching fish after fish. The dolphins could not get to us easily. It was the best of both worlds. We all caught a good number of a variety of fish, mostly trout, and the kids, who were visiting us from up north, got to be up close with wild dolphins AND catch trout and be sharkslayers. I had to teach them about proper release, because we did lose one to the dolphins. They will have a great story to tell their friends back home!

Norman Sullivan
1 year ago

Oh, yeah, I’ve reeled the head of a nice sized king in off the pier in Pensacola. — In the kayak I’ve slung a topwater out in front of them, and had one kind of swim fiercely my direction as if to say, “I hear you…” and leave. lol

Mike Aniskovich
1 year ago

I love you guys. I’m a New Englander, and probably you are more southeast I guess. Like, I’ve never seen redfish or snook up here (but man that looks like a hellofalotta fun!). We’re more striped bass, bluefish, flounder. As I’m sure you know. Anyway, if you do get up here, I’d love to hear stories!

Joshua Nester
1 year ago

I pier fish in destin, its very hard to catch fish with the dolphins around and they are always around, if you throw live/dead bait you have to keep a eye out for dolphins because they will take it and if you catch a fish you have to race the dolphins cause they will eat it, and if you get a big king you better throw a knocker rig on there quick and hope it works otherwise you might get lucky and get the head back


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