John's Journal...


Dolphin on Spike-It Soft Plastics

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Captain Dave Sutton of Homestead, Florida, a fishing guide in the Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay National Park and the Upper Florida Keys, takes anglers to permit, tarpon, redfish, snook, speckled trout, dolphin, wahoo, grouper and snapper. Sutton, who has fished these waters for 16 years and has guided for the last 6 years, has discovered that using the new Spike-It products for these saltwater fish pays off for him.

QUESTION: What Spike-It products do you use the most?
SUTTON: I like the Holographic soft-plastic baits the most. I use them to catch a wide variety of fish under many different circumstances. I believe these baits have superior flash, and they're also very well-balanced. Here's a classic example. This past Click to enlargeweekend, the last one in May, I'd just gotten a new 28-foot boat, and my customers and I had a nice-sized school of dolphin around the boat. We were trolling baits to try to get a hookup with a fish. I told one of my clients to get a rod and put a chunk (meaning a chunk of cut bait) on and cast toward the school of dolphins. But apparently all my client heard was, "Grab a rod, and start chunking." So, he grabbed a spinning rod that had a 6-inch Spike-It shad in the black and clear colors on a jig head. After he made his cast and started his retrieve, a big bull dolphin came over and attacked the bait. My client caught the 20-pound dolphin on 15-pound test line after a heck of a fight. I didn't really realize what had happened until I gaffed the fish at the side of the boat. When I started pulling the big bull dolphin onto the boat, I looked down in the fish's mouth and saw that Spike-It bait stuck to its jaw. I looked at my angler and asked, "You threw a Spike-It bait at this fish?" The angler looked back at me and said, "Well, yes, isn't that what you suggested. Anyway the fish ate it, didn't he?".

Click to enlargeOrdinarily when you hook up a dolphin when you're trolling, you put the boat in neutral and start casting chunks of cut-up ballyhoo to try to get the other dolphins in the school to follow the dolphin on the line to the boat and start eating the ballyhoo. We always leave the hooked dolphin in the water to keep the school of dolphin around the boat so we can continue to catch dolphin. When I told my angler to throw out a chunk, I meant for him to pick up a chunk of cut ballyhoo and cast it out to the dolphins. However, he just grabbed the spinning reel with the Spike-It bait on it, and the fish took the bait. That 6-inch saltwater shad in the black-and-clear color really did a number on that dolphin. I'd never considered before casting those soft plastics to schooling dolphin. But, I learned on this trip just how deadly that bait could be. My angler said, "Dave, I just cast the bait out and twitched my rod a couple of times, and the dolphin attacked it." My fisherman was using a 7-foot, medium-light, Quantum spinning rod with a small spinning reel - definitely not the rod I would have chosen for him to use to catch the dolphin. However, once he had hooked up the fish and got the dolphin to the boat, I don't guess it really mattered on which rod he caught the fish.

Click to enlargeI also used the 5-inch Holographic grub in the chartreuse color, and other anglers cast that bait out too. I believe we caught as many dolphin on those Spike-It baits as we would have caught on chunks of ballyhoo, and we possibly caught more fish. I had just never considered using Spike-It soft plastics when I was fishing for dolphin. However, you better believe I'll have those Spike-It Holographic minnows on my spinning tackle from now on when we go after dolphin.

For more information on how you can fish with Captain Dave Sutton, contact him at or go to www.saltwater To learn more about Spike-It's top-quality lures, paints and other fishing products and the Color-C-Lector, go to



Check back each day this week for more about CAPTAIN DAVE SUTTON ON SALTWATER FISHING WITH SPIKE-IT

Day 1: Dolphin on Spike-It Soft Plastics
Day 2: Jerkbaits for Jack Crevalle
Day 3: Redfish and Snook on Spike-It Products
Day 4: Spike-It for Speckled Trout
Day 5: Tarpon with Spike-It



Entry 303, Day 1