Mahi Mahi fishing

Mahi Mahi Fishing: All You Need to Know

According to the experts at Salty Knots Fishing Charters, mahi-mahi fishing takes a lot of patience in order to have any chance of catching one. Hence, if you’re planning on fishing for this beautiful fish, be sure to pack your patience bag with you when you head down to the docks!

The Mahi Mahi fish is known for its bluntly shaped heads, bright colors and toughness. Actually mahi-mahi is derived from Hawaiian and means “very powerful”.

They are capable of being caught in large numbers and can fight well on light tackle. They are very popular among recreational fishermen, big-game anglers, spear fishermen and others. Mahi mahi are also one of the most delicious fish to eat. The world record mahi mahi-mahi weighed 128 pounds (58 kilograms) and was caught off Venezuela’s coast. It was landed by Capt. Jose Wejebe during filming for his TV series “Fishing Impossible” on February 4, 1999, near Cocos Island, Costa Rica.

Where Can You Fish For Mahi Mahi?

Mahi mahi are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. They prefer water between 80m and 80m below the surface.

Mahis love to hang around floating objects like debris, flotsam or spinnakers that have been blown off their positions by the wind. They can also be found on floating islands of grass or in channels that have strong water flows through them. The mahi mahi-mahi eats primarily small fish and squid.

The best time to catch mahi -mahis is during the spawning season. This usually occurs between February and June. Turtle grass flats (Thalassia), which are 30-40 feet deep, have slight currents and are another preferred habitat for Mahi. Surface activity can be seen in wrecks such as oil slicks and bubbles, debris, oil slicks, or bubbles, and rocky bottoms that have ledges on steep banks. These fish can often be found far offshore in waters as deep as 800 feet (243m).

Mahi-mahi prefers water temperatures between 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2 to 26 Celsius). They prefer to be close to shore and stay inshore of outlying reefs or ridges or shoals, rather than around them.

When marlin fishing or tuna fishing, Mahi-mahi can often be caught as an additional catch.

Casting & Trolling for Mahi Mahi

Mahi-mahis can bite any lure you throw at them, whether it’s trolling, spinning or jigging. These gamefish are great for catching live or dead bait! You can use live or dead bait to catch mackerel, pilchards and jack as well as other species that are common in the area. Hooked ballyhoo is a good choice. It’s a hook that has a 3 to 5/0 to 5/0 hook and a weight attached to its eye. This will prevent it from getting caught in any bait fish inshore. To present frozen shrimp as bait, you can use a 2 1/2-inch jighead.

These baits should be used for trolling or casting. This will allow the mahi to get used to them. You can fish deep (over 100 feet) with both natural colors (white and yellow) or fluorescent colors (chartreuse and fluoro pink and fluoro yellow) when the sun is low in the mornings or evenings.

Gorgeous Mahi Mahi With Great Coloring

Fishing for mahi-mahis in their spawning season can be quite aggressive when it comes to large baitfish.

Mahi Mahi aka Dorado

Two interesting facts about mahi mahi are that they are also called dorados, which in Spanish means “golden” and can actually jump out of the water when they’re hooked. Their most popular nickname is “The Flying Fish” because they can leap vertically from the water, sometimes several feet high. Book one of our mahi mahi fishing charters if you want to catch these gamefish on your next fishing trip.

The Mahi-mahis can often be seen traveling together in small groups in an area called a “school”. This school could hold between two and several hundred fish. They are often seen swimming close to the surface with their mouths wide open, filtering out plankton.

Mahi Mahi Fishing: The Trophy Fish

You can fish for Mahi Mahi in Mexico, Florida and Guatemala. For example, Mahi-mahis can also be caught in Costa Rica and Panama as trophies. They can be found in tropical waters all over the world and are primarily fished for sport.

They are incredibly tough and can fight off any kind of attack. Imagine how much fun you would have catching one of these fish with a hook!

Mahi-Mahi Identification

These characteristics can help you identify Mahi-mahi:

  • The bony crest is located at the front of the head
  • Bright blue, yellow and gold sides with a yellow underneath
  • From the eye to the caudal fin, a dorsal fin
  • A long pectoral fin, more than half the length of the head

Best Bait for Mahi Mahi Fishing

As mentioned at the beginning, Mahi Mahi are carnivores and will eat many smaller fish. Ballyhoo is the best bait for chunking. Squid might work if you don’t have any ballyhoo. Make sure to have some unrigged ballyhoo before you head out. These can be purchased at any local tackle shop in areas where Mahi Mahi fish are frequently targeted. Although some of the largest Mahi Mahi, or Dolphin fish, have been caught with small baits, a rule of thumb is that a bigger bait will catch a larger Mahi Mahi. Here are some baits that work well for trolling for Mahi Mahi.

  • Rigged Ballyhoo – Rigged Ballyhoo is a popular choice for catching Mahi Mahi. Trolling with rigged ballyhoo, the ballyhoo will skim across the surface of water. To catch Mahi Mahi, you can also use skirted ballyhoo.
  • Bubblers – Lightweight surface bubblers work well because they are easy to keep weed-free. You can also easily remove weeds from the lure if they get caught. For Mahi Mahi, the best colors are blue or pink.
  • Bullet Heads – These lures for trolling are slightly heavier than the average lure and will remain sub-surface.

You can also use other trolling lures to catch Mahi Mahi, but it is best to experiment and find the right one.

Book a Trip

For those of you that want to experience a deep sea fishing charter out in the oceans of Florida we highly recommend our experts in Salty Knots Fishing Charters. If you’re interested in fishing for mahi-mahi, sailfish, tuna, king mackerel or any other game fish in Florida, then contact our team today.

Services We Offer

Whether you are an experienced fisherman or a beginner, Salty Knots Fishing Charters will provide you with an experience you won’t forget. Our services include Offshore Deep Sea Charters. Salty Knots Fishing Charters also offers beautiful sunset cruises along world famous St. Petersburg beach!