The line of Sargasso weed beside the rip looked really inviting, but there hadn’t been any action for the first 20 minutes. That changed quickly when two neon yellow and green streaks burst out from a small break in the grass and into the middle of the spread of trolled baits.
A few seconds later, two outrigger clips popped almost in unison, and one reel began howling, the clackety-clack of a big offshore reel giving up line against the drag. Before the mate could move to drop back the bait on the line that wasn’t moving, another outrigger clip popped, and this time, the hook found a grip and line peeled off the second reel, confirming a double hookup.
On the bridge, Mike Webb, who runs the charterboat Pelagic out of Atlantic Beach, N.C. maintained the boat’s speed a little longer, hoping he might get another strike. When that didn’t come after 30 seconds or so, he eased back a little on the throttles to make landing the two fish easier.
About 200 yards behind the boat, two dolphin leapt into the air and tumbled wildly, trying to dislodge the hooks. When the dolphin leapt, their brilliant yellow and green colors flashed in the morning sun, signaling a great beginning to what would become a very productive day.
Dolphin are a favorite catch of fishermen off the Carolinas for several reasons. They don’t just look pretty, they fight hard and are excellent table fare. That’s good too as they make a strong run along the inshore edge of the Gulf Stream off the Carolinas from late spring into summer.
Webb (252-904-3361) and Buddy “Love” Smith (843-356-0585), who runs the Underdog out of Murrells Inlet, S.C., look forward to plying the deep, blue ocean waters along the edge of