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Made it out of the jetties at 6:00am with two rookie buddies from Dallas and Brad D. First stop was a wreck at 36 miles which was holding allot of snaps but they were on the small side so we hauled. Hit a rock at 42 and picked up a few decent snapper and a few chicken dolphin that came up around the boat. We threw out some menhaden to get the dolphin in a frenzy and the dang snapper came up to the top in the chum. We were catching dolphin and small snapper at the same time (crazy). Left that spot when the dolphin left and the sharks rolled in. Proceeded to a few hardspots at 48 and finished off the snapper limit. Managed a 10 pound dolphin on a drift line while we drifted for snapper (nice suprise). After we limited on snapper we kicked back and drifted a few baits which produced three nice kings. One was keep for the Dallas boys and the other two were returned to the drink. Started in around 3:00 and hit a huge weedline around 40 miles. Could have filled the boat with dolphin. Picked up about 15 more 2-3 pounders and one more nice 10 pounder along with a nice 5 pound tripletail. We ended the day with a limit of snapper (biggest fish was only around 6 pounds), 41 dolphin, 3 kings (1 kept) and one tripletail. We normally only keep enough chickens for a meal or two but the Dallas boys don't get to fish much and wanted to take a few fish home to the old ladies. I know 41 sounds like allot but we could have caught 200 and between 4 guys that is only 10 a piece. Does anyone else think they need to put a limit on them? I really feel this is a fish that can be abused on the weedlines. Anyway, those two rookies are hooked on offshore fishing now.
 

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I generally follow the 10 per person both on chickens and on BFT.

10 is a lot to clean after the trip.

Glad you got into them, and got those guys hooked!

Mike
 

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thanks for the report. looks like you have added 2 more offshore addicts to the dfw area. that might help those of us who are looking for crew get some help with the driving down and back. please keep us up to date on your trips offshore. thanks...rick
 

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We also usually stop keeping at around 10 each. If a four person trip keeps 40 chickens, a dozen or so snaps and maybe a couple of Ling or AJ, they've got as much fish cleaning fun as most folks can stand. I've actually only seen one instance of a boat coming in with a slaughter catch of Dolphin, and most boats I see coming in seem to stop at 30 to 50 fish even when they could have filled the boat. I personally would hate to see limits unless there is evidence that rec fishermen are doing far more damage to the resource than I'm seeing. Regulation because of population concerns is one thing, but to place limits on them just because ocassionally some greedy person gets carried away is another situation entirely. There are enough rules and regulations in life without creating them just for feel-good reasons. Dolphin are one of the most prolific fish in the Gulf and are short lived. Most fall to predators in the first year or two and the survivors only live for 4-5 years. That's why it seems like every year there are jillions of chickens out there, but nowhere near that number of bulls and cows. Those 1-4 pounders will almost all be dead within a year, whether it's on the grill or in the belly of a predator.
 

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One more DFW guy - ME!!

Have started packing up in Vegas and expect to start my new job in Dallas July 12th. I will be living in Plano - as soon as I find a decent apartment. I already am booked offshore for July 18th out of Freeport - anyone going down that weekend? ( I am sure weather will be the deciding factor, but I keep a bay boat there and will be in the bays barring a hurricane )

I consider myself pretty good offshore - made about 50 trips including charters and friends that live in Freeport. I have worked as a deckhand about a dozen times - pretty tough job, but lots of fun. I love seeing peoples eyes (that have never been offshore) when you hand them that first smoker!!! "This ain't no largemouth buddy, hang on! Reel, reel, reel, stop looking around and REEEEL!" It is soo much fun.

That being said, I have a pretty stupid question about those "chicken dolphin" for you pros. I have heard they are a different subspecies from the big bulls and cows. I have heard they are very short lived and don't get much bigger than five pounds. Kinda like the difference between white bass and big old stripers. Any truth to that? Might just be someone's excuse for keeping boat loads. We usually keep to a pretty low limit, but they are tasty! It is a blast to keep a light weight fly rod around when you run into a big school. They can sure put on a airshow on 6lb tackle!

Hope to meet you guys at the BPS in Grapevine sometimes, I hear you guys have a meeting about once a month.

Andy
 

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Mud Skipper-

I was about to point out the same thing about the dolphins. I could be wrong on this, so bear with me guys. I believe that most of the small or 'chicken' dolphin that are caught are actually a Pompano dolphin. They don't grow much past 4-5 lbs. Again, ya'll experts can correct me if I am wrong, but that is what I have always believed.
 

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From what I understand, we have both species (Common Dolphin and Pompano Dolphin) off Texas, but that most of the ones we see inside of 100 miles are Common Dolphin. They are shaped and colored about the same. While juveniles of both species occur in near shore waters when conditions are right, Pompano Dolphin tend to be in the deeper waters, generally being more than 100 miles offshore in our part of the Gulf. Common Dolphin reach 60-65 inches and Pompano Dolphin reach 37-40 inches. When very small (>1 lb.), the Pompano Dolphin has lighter markings on the dorsal fin, sometimes appearing almost white or having whitish blotches. Surest way to check is to feel the tooth patch on the tounge. The Common Dolphin has an oval shaped patch and the Pompano Dolphin has a square patch.
 
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