Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), also known as the common dolphinfish or dorado, is a vibrant and highly sought-after fish in both recreational and commercial fishing circles. Its distinctive appearance features a dazzling mix of bright greens, blues, and yellows, making it a true gem of the ocean. Mahi-mahi inhabit warm waters around the world, often found near floating debris or offshore structures.
Renowned for their acrobatic displays when hooked, mahi-mahi offer an exhilarating challenge to anglers. Their powerful bursts of speed and remarkable jumps are a testament to their strength and agility. Beyond the thrill of the catch, mahi-mahi are prized for their delicious and versatile flesh, which is firm, lean, and mild in flavor.
How to catch Mahi-Mahi
Equipment and Gear: Use medium to heavy spinning or conventional tackle with a line test between 20 to 50 pounds. Use sharp, strong hooks in the range of 1/0 to 7/0 size, depending on the bait you’re using.
Lures and Bait: Mahi-mahi are attracted to brightly colored lures such as trolling skirts, soft plastic lures, and feather jigs. They are also known to bite on live bait like small fish, squid, and shrimp.
Fishing Locations: Mahi-mahi are often found in warm waters near the surface, around floating debris, weed lines, and offshore structures like oil rigs, buoys, and floating objects. Look for areas where these conditions are met. Seabirds like seagulls often indicate the presence of feeding fish. Mahi-mahi often swim underneath schools of smaller fish, and the birds are drawn to the fish near the surface.
Timing: Mahi-mahi are typically more active and easier to catch during warmer months when water temperatures are higher. In many regions, this corresponds to spring, summer, and early fall. They are known for their migratory behavior. They often follow currents and schools of baitfish. Understanding the migration patterns in your region can help you predict when they might be more abundant.
Techniques: One of the most common methods to catch mahi-mahi is trolling. This involves dragging lures or bait behind a moving boat. Vary the speed and depth of your lures to see what works best on that day. If you’re fishing from a stationary position, you can attract mahi-mahi by chumming the water with small pieces of bait or fish oil. This can create a feeding frenzy and bring the fish closer to your boat.