Definition: Vegetarian -- an old Indian word meaning "I don't fish good."
With this in mind, I recall something my Uncle Lee once said about eating a balanced meal: "Vegetables are good for you but they lack any high position on a dinner plate when not accompanied by a nice filet of fish."
This gamefish prefers waters ranging from 72 to 82 degrees, and covers large areas while on the prowl for food. Some things to look for are surface and diving birds. Usually birds hover over smaller fish, which is a sign that gamefish are present. Another mark is floating debris, weed lines, grasses, boards, and other surface materials that provide sanctuary for smaller fish, which are targeted by dolphin.
Fishing techniques are geared towards the boat owner. It's hard to deny the results of a seasoned angler or that of a dedicated boat captain. If you are lucky enough to be aboard one of these vessels, you need only to follow the captain's lead for hooking and landing your prize.
Standard tackle is a 30-pound trolling rod with a full spool of 20-pound line. Many anglers prefer conventional reels, but larger spool spinning outfits matched to the same class will provide enough power and backbone for the species. A 6-foot, 50-pound leader matched with a 6/0 circle hook will round out your needs for any hookups or catch and release.
Dolphin are great table fare, although some restaurants slab out the fish and mask its true flavor with seasoning. The fish has firm opaque flesh with a naturally sweet yet moderately strong flavor. If you consider dolphin to be gamey, when cutting filets always cut away the dark blood lines and remove the skin.
The species is listed as a moderate mercury risk, with six servings a month a safe level.
FAVORITE GAMEFISH RECIPE
My favorite recipe is Creamy Baked Mahi Mahi. It is a constant request whenever the out-of-towners drop in for a bit of Lowcountry lifestyle. It can be modified to fit most fish but I have found it better reserved for a gamefish that deserves special attention like grouper, drum, dolphin, wahoo and king mackerel.
3 lbs. Dolphin fillets; 1 c. dry white wine; 1 med. onion, chopped; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. butter; 1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms; 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley; 1 tbsp. dried whole dill weed; 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice; 1 c. sour cream (do not use yogurt); 1 c. mayonnaise; 1 c. grated cheddar cheese; 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese; 1/2 tsp. pepper; 1/2 tsp. paprika; 1/2 c. chopped cashew nuts (can substitute walnuts, pecans); 1/2 c. garlic seasoned dry bread crumbs or 1 cup seasoned croutons.
Use a well-greased glass 9x13 baking dish. Pour wine over fish and refrigerate 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes. In a shallow pan, place onion, garlic and mushrooms in butter and saute until onions are tender. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and lime juice.
Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan and cheddar cheese. Slowly blend with onion-garlic and mushroom mixture. Spoon sour cream vegetable mixture over top. Sprinkle with pepper, paprika, nuts and bread crumbs.
Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until flakey or slightly browned.