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Mahi Mahi Fishing: All You Need to Know

"Dorado - Mahi Mahi" by Flawka is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

9 minute read 

If there’s one fish that’s beloved by deep sea anglers all across the globe, it has to be the magnificent Mahi Mahi. Also known as Dolphin and Dorado, we think that “Mahi Mahi,” the Hawaiian name for this fish, is actually the most accurate. It translates to “very strong” in English, after all. This gives a little bit of insight into why anglers go mad for Mahi Mahi fishing!

When you target this brightly-colored fella, you get the full package. Not only does the Mahi put up an incredible fight and grow to impressive sizes, but it also tastes incredible whether you fry it up or serve it as a fresh ceviche. To top things off, it also inhabits waters all around the world. Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about where, when, and how you can go Mahi Mahi fishing. Let’s dive in…

Where to Find Mahi Mahi

As we mentioned, part of the reason why the Mahi Mahi is such a popular target is because it’s incredibly widespread. Not only do they live in the Gulf, Pacific, and Atlantic waters surrounding the US, but you’ll also find them in more exotic locations. The Caribbean Sea, for example, is a Mahi hotspot, as well are the Indio-Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

You’ll even find these fish in the far-flung South China Sea. They show up anywhere from Mexico, to Costa Rica, Louisiana, Hawaii, Australia, Southeast Asia… The list goes on! They’re especially popular in Florida, though. It’s believed that 70% of Mahi targeted across the US originated in the waters around the Sunshine State.

So what types of water do Mahi prefer? They tend to lurk between the surface of the ocean to around 250 feet below. They’re drawn to floating objects such as buoys, seaweed, and logs and can also be found near floating islands of grass and in channels with strong-running flows of water. Mahi Mahi are opportunistic feeders with a preferred diet of small fish and squid. Wherever you spot these guys, chances are your Dolphin’s not far behind.

When to Go Mahi Mahi Fishing

Obviously, the best time to target Mahi depends on where you’re fishing. There’s one thing anglers across the world agree on, though. Cast your line during spawning season, and you’re on to a winner. This often takes place between February and June, when Mahi head to cut banks or drop-offs at night to feed on the small bait fish that gather there. However, multiple spawnings per year are common for both male and female varieties – giving them the nickname “the rabbits of the sea”!

Another way to predict the best Mahi fishing time is to keep an eye on their migration route. These fish are highly migratory, which means they travel around a lot. For example, in Florida, it’s best to target them between April and June. This is when they begin their journey northward (although they stick around the Florida Keys until September).

In Mexico, peak Mahi fishing times are between May and December. In Australia, the high season begins in December. It’s all about location. You can check out what the fishing near you is looking like to get an idea of when Mahi will be in your area.

FishingBooker, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, June 10, 2022

Republished with permission