Richard “Gibby” Gibson has taken pictures of fish, fishermen and fishing boats from the Caribbean to the Bahamas and beyond. Of all the fish he’s photographed, one remains a challenge: Coryphaena hippurus, commonly known as dolphin, mahi-mahi or dorado.
“The great thing about dorado is they jump — a lot. And they’re beautifully colored, so you could say they’re photogenic,” Gibson says. “The problem is they’re so damned fast, which makes them sometimes impossible to photograph. I’ve shot a few hundred frames before and not gotten a clear shot.”
Gibson says the photo above, captured in June 2014 off Islamorada, Florida, during the University of Miami Dolphin Tournament, was a “very lucky shot.” He was fishing aboard Free Enterprise, a 65-foot American Custom Yachts sportfish, with Capt. Randy Jendersee while trolling a weed line that looked promising. “We hooked up and quickly identified a dorado on the line.”
As the angler brought the fish closer to the boat, Gibson started shooting. However, it wasn’t until he uploaded the images to his computer that he discovered that the mahi wasn’t the only fish in the photo. “I’m not sure whether it’s a cowfish or triggerfish in that picture, or whether the tiny fish was on the run or being regurgitated by the dorado, but it turned out to be a hell of a shot,” Gibson says. We agree.
The Free Enterprise crew also boated a blue marlin that day. “We thought we’d locked down the tournament,” Gibson says. As it turned out, he says, blue marlin was not on the species list for the tourney. “C’est las vie,” says the photographer.