Bottlenose dolphins are the much-loved clowns of the sea. Their high-energy cavorting evidences a love of life that is unmatched in the animal kingdom. We enjoy watching them frolic so much that they’ve become the stars of many live-animal shows, held captive for our amusement and coerced into performing behaviors both natural and learned in exchange for a steady supply of bite-size fish.
Here in Southwest Florida, dolphins are also the object of quite a bit of anger and frustration for fishermen. Dolphins often put the kibosh on a hot bite by coming in to investigate. Worse, they’ll take your fish — usually after you release them, but sometimes right off the end of your line. And there’s nothing you can legally do to stop them. The Marina Mammal Protection Act prohibits harming or even harassing them, so all you can do is go look for someplace else to fish.
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