Tidewater 2800CC: Perfect for Dolphin Season Everywhere


Tidewater 2800CC: Perfect for Dolphin Season Everywhere

by Ted Lund

From the offshore canyons in the Northeast to the Florida Straits, summertime means one thing to serious anglers: dolphin. They are one of the world’s most popular offshore gamefish; they are readily accessible, usually willing to bite, and make for great table fare. Being an open-ocean wanderer, you’ll want the perfect machine to chase them with; Tidewater’s 280CC Adventure fits the bill.

Running and Gunning

280 CC Adventure

280 CC Adventure Tidewater Boats

One of the most effective ways to specifically target big dolphin is to actively run-and-gun for them; seek out structure-like palettes, trees, or towing hawsers. You’ll also want to keep an eye to the sky for birds. You’ll find a number of smaller birds like terns and noddys, which follow dolphin. Chances are if you spot a frigate bird, a trophy is near by.

Study the body language and actions of the frigate; if it is cruising high on the thermoclines, it is either following a fish from a distance or keeping an eye out for one. Frigates are usually on the hunt when they are lower to the water and flying in a straight line. Get ready to get hooked up if you find them wheeling and plucking baitfish off the surface.


The best tackle for trophy dolphin is usually spinning gear that allows anglers to pitch hefty live or deadbaits. Usually a 7- to 71/2-foot spinning rod, dolphinm-lgarmed with an 800-series reel is the preferred weapon of choice. You’ll want a reel that can handle several hundred yards of 20-pound monofilament or braid. To the end of that, you’ll want a 50- to 60-pound floro leader, attached to a Bimini in the braid by a Bristol knot. This allows the knot to be wound right up into the guides and flow easily on the cast. For hooks, you’ll want to opt for a large J-hook. The idea here is to hook and land a big fish. Your chances are better if you have a large J-hook firmly embedded in the dolphin’s gut. Remember, no one ever released a 40-pounder — deliberately.


When running and gunning dolphin, you’ll want a mix of live and dead baits to pitch to large fish. Live blue runners, ballyhoo, goggle eyes and herring are top choices. In order to get them to live longer, as well as hook up better, you’ll want to bridle them to the hook using a floss loop or rubber band.

The same idea is true with dead baits. Large squid, ballyhoo, or flying fish are popular choices. Unfortunately, once thawed, the baits can become flimsy and fly off the hook easily. This is resolved by sewing them to the hook using wax floss or rigging wire.

Regardless of the bait, the next step is finding and hooking the fish. You’ll want to cast the bait out in front of the fish on an intercept course. Big dolphin are usually always hungry, so getting the bite isn’t much of a problem. But what you do after the bite makes all the difference in the world. Even though these are big fish, you’ll want to let them eat; they’re trying to swallow a big bait. Count to 10 with the bail open, then lock the reel up and wind. The rest is up to you.

Full Featured

The 280CC Adventure is equally at home on day trips to the Stream or overnight trips to the canyons. At 28-feet, 4-inches, its the flagship of the Tidewater line. It’s 9-foot, 10-inch beam is roomy and creates a wide pattern for trolling lures and natural baits; but it’s also a great choice for running and gunning. Boasting a maximum 600 hp with 205 gallons of standard fuel capacity, anglers can really stretch their legs in search of these highly migratory pelagics.

Family-oriented fishermen are sure to appreciate the amenities like a 19-gallon freshwater tank perfect for quick showers and a 13-gallon waste capacity for an internal head.

One of the biggest problems for dolphin fishermen is storage; it’s often possible to catch a limit of fish so quickly you barely have time to find some place to put them. Not a problem thanks to the 280CC’s cavernous fish boxes. Four plumbed compartments total 160 gallons of useable fish storage area.

The 280CC’s pair of 30 gallon livewells are sure to be a hit with offshore anglers as well; giving them the ability to carry live ballyhoo,  goggleyes, or blue runners separately.

Other standard features on the 280 CC  Adventure — and the rest of Tidewater’s lineup — include all-composite, no wood construction with fiberglass stringers and a hand-laid fiberglass hull. Each boat is rigged to AYBC standards and backed by a 10-year transferable hull warranty.

For more information on the CC Adventure family of boats or the entire Tidewater line, visit tidewaterboats.com,


Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

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