Mahi-Mahi Birthday in Gulf Shores – best of

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Yesterday was my Dad’s 56th birthday. He’s old, but actually pretty young. Anyhow to celebrate his birthday we headed offshore. My mom and Brook came along with us so we had 6 of us out. There was a storm covering up the oil rig we wanted to hit, so we just stayed a few miles East and hit some different rigs.

We pulled up to a shallow water rig in just 45′ of water in hopes to find some mangrove snappers, spadefish, maybe a cobia or even a big redfish… To our surprise, even this shallow water rig was covered up with red snappers! The season just closed for red snappers on monday so we had to let them go. Jared caught this beast that I had to take a picture of:

We were able to fish just above the red snappers and catch a cooler full of spadefish and mangroves which was a blast! Here are some pics of these fish back at the dock… I like taking fresh pics out in the boat, but everyone was focused on fishing…. You want to talk about a fish that fights hard, spadefish are BEASTS!!

So once we filled the cooler up we headed out to deeper to find some more fish! Our hope was to find some chicken dolphins (mahi-mahi) that had been reported in the area…. When we got to our next spot, it was covered with dolphins, but not the dolphins we were after… Real dolphins, like flipper were all over us, to the point where we couldnt even fish. Justin has a video that I will post here in a day or two, its pretty cool…

So we trolled around looking for some kings, spanish mackeral, and chicken dolphins. We caught two nice spanish and a king.

Then we decided to head in to cook up a birthday feast…. Well, about 8 miles from shore and this is where God blessed us with the best birthday present on the planet for Dad… He put a 40’x40′ patch of floating seaweed right in our pathway home…

You may wonder what’s so special about some sargasso seaweed, but the nice pretty water had a school of mahi-mahi loaded up under this thing!! We pulled up to it and dad casted a white curly tail grup near that thing and BAM he was hooked up! Immediately we all started grabbing rods and flinging bait of all sorts….

We were ALL HOOKED UP at the same time and filling the second fish cooler with acrobatic leaping and extra tasty mahi mahi’s!!!

We were using cut cigar minnows, live pilchards, and curly grubs… Mom was throwing in pieces of cigar minnows to keep the school close as we drifted away from the weeds. Doing this kept the school of fish in a feeding frenzy and close to the boat! Also we made sure to keep at least one dolphin in the water at all times as well as this helps keep em fired up too!! Usually we had 2 or 3 on at the same time…

So we estimated there were about 20-25 mahi mahi swimming around this weed patch and we managed to catch 16 of them!!! These fish on light tackle are a whole nother level of fun… most saltwater fish we had been catching pulled really hard, but these fish swam really fast and at times jumped 5-6′ into the air!!

Anyhow about 45 mins later and we were back on the path towards home… Truly an amazing experience and perhaps the best birthday my dad has ever had!

So we fished pretty much the whole day, BUT the day before we didnt do any fishing… just playing on the beach with the kids… We had fun doing the usual burrying people and making sand castles and riding waves…



by Nate Herman

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