Fisherman’s Corner: The True Chicken of the Sea!
For as long as I’ve been a fisherman, I have always treasured the chance to hook up with Mr. Chicken! Mahi Mahi, Dolphin, or Dorado are the names, but its the colors & flavors that make it just spectacular! Its July now on Panama City Beach, and these little dudes seem to be everywhere! We have been getting reports of them even in the bays, so its time to get the boat rigged for the slaughter!
The 4th of July weekend took its toll on Panama City Beach as more visitors arrived this year than ever before! Not all of them had boats, but many went out on charters and the docks were covered in these yellow & green fish! These great sport fish range all across the world, and are most plentiful this time of year along the Panhandle.
This year has been witness to rising water temps, which have attracted these Chicken Dolphin to our area in droves! You really should try one, because they are one of the most spectacular sport fish around on a rod & reel! Unlike their cousins the full size Dolphin or Mahi Mahi; the chicken variety stay small (usually under 5lbs), and travel in small to large schools foraging as they go. They are a pelagic (open ocean) species, and follow the Gulf Stream along Florida as part of their annual migration. Its nice that our little city lies right in their path allowing us a chance at these great little beauties! Remember to only take what you can eat, because they don’t freeze well at all.
Now its time to go catch um! Remember when you do hook one to keep it in the water as long as others are around. This will allow you to get another rod or two baited and in the water hooking up with more! As long as one is kept in the water the rest will stay close (they’re not the smartest critters around). Now you can get your limit of 10 easily if you keep a cool head. That’s how you do it!
The only tip I can give you is on cleaning them after the catch. Be careful not to cut that yellowish gland type organ they have, because what comes out stinks to high heaven! Yuk! In fact, the best way to clean them is not to fillet, and to just gut them out whole. Cook the whole thing on the grill, because you don’t want to lose one bit of this tasty fish messing with skinny wasteful fillets. Its a waste of a mother nature’s gift to you! So, try one out if you haven’t already, and let me know if it doesn’t please your taste buds. I will be just overjoyed to take them off your hands! Cheers!