Mahi-mahi

The mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Also known widely as dorado, it is one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family, the other being the pompano dolphinfish.

Mahi-mahi live 4 to 5 years. Catches average 7 to 13 kilograms (15 to 29 lb). They seldom exceed 15 kilograms (33 lb), and mahi-mahi over 18 kilograms (40 lb) are exceptional.

Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and long dorsal fins extending nearly the entire length of their bodies. Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors: golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Large males have high, vertical foreheads, while the female's forehead is rounded. Males grow larger than females. 

The name mahi-mahi means very strong in Hawaiian. They are extremely fast swimmers and feed extensively on flying fish and squid as well as on other small fish. Mahi-mahi are highly sought for sport fishing and commercial purposes. Sport fishermen seek them due to their beauty, size, food quality, and healthy population. Mahi-mahi is popular in many restaurants.

Mahi-mahi can be found in the Caribbean Sea, on the west coast of North and South America, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast of Florida, Southeast Asia, Hawaii and many other places worldwide.

Fishing charters most often look for floating debris and frigatebirds near the edge of the reef in about 120 feet (37 m) of water. Mahi-mahi (and many other fish) often swim near debris such as floating wood, palm trees and fronds, or sargasso weed lines and around fish buoys. Sargasso is floating seaweed that sometimes holds a complete ecosystem from microscopic creatures to seahorses and baitfish. Frigatebirds dive for food accompanying the debris or sargasso. Experienced fishing guides can tell what species are likely around the debris by the birds' behavior.

Thirty- to fifty-pound gear is more than adequate when trolling for mahi-mahi. Fly-casters may especially seek frigatebirds to find big mahi-mahis, and then use a bait-and-switch technique. Ballyhoo or a net full of live sardines tossed into the water can excite the mahi-mahis into a feeding frenzy. Hookless teaser lures can have the same effect. After tossing the teasers or live chum, fishermen throw the fly to the feeding mahi-mahi. Successful fishing methods include trolling surface baits (flying fish, mullet, balao, squid, strip baits) or artificial lures; also live bait fishing or casting.
Once on a line, mahi-mahi are fast, flashy and acrobatic, with beautiful blue, yellow, green and even red dots of color.

Hooked dolphin may leap or tailwalk, darting first in one direction, then another. It is believed that they can reach speeds up to 50 mph (80.5 kph) in short bursts.  If the first dolphin caught is kept in the water, it will usually hold the school, and often others will come near enough to be caught by casting.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Coryphaena hippurus
Environment:Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:70-80°F (21-26°C)
Technique:Casting, Fly, Trolling
Lure Type:Flies, Plugs, Trolling
World Record:39.46 kg (87 lb 0 oz) Papagallo Gulf , Costa Rica
Other Names:mahi, dolphin, dolphinfish, mahi mahi, dorado, goldmakrele, shiira, lampuga, lampuka, lampuki, rakingo, calitos, maverikos

Latest Mahi-mahi Fishing Reports and Spots

Cañaso - Fishing Report January 20 - 1/21/2022 8:56:23 AM

#bluemarlin 2 X 1 X 1 #Sailfish 18 X 15 X 10 #Mahi-Mahi. 1 of 20 LBS (View)


Better Weather Ahead For Key West Fishing In January. - 1/17/2022 5:02:46 PM

January 17th 2021 – Looking out the window right now here in Key West the only thing we are lacking is the snow. Well and the sub freezing temp (View)


Dorados and Sailfish in Quepos - 1/16/2022 5:35:47 PM

Hello Anglers this is the fishing report from Captain Franklin my catch report from today was 2/4  on Pacific sailfish and we landed 4 large Ma (View)


Wahoooo for Wahoo! - 12/3/2012 1:52:30 PM

Although blue marlin represent the holy grail of big-game fish catching wahoo and mahi mahi is fun for the whole family. Here’s some reasons wh (View)


Inexplicable adventures sensations that touch the soul - 1/8/2022 10:36:28 AM

This was what welcomed us yesterday in the Pacific Ocean of Guatemala [Stripe Marlin Sailfish Mahi-Mahi Dolphins turtles & More ]... (View)


Kona Fishing Report - 12/22/2021 10:56:24 PM

Mahi Mahi is for dinner   Much aloha and God Bless The post Kona Fishing Report appeared first on Camelot Sport Fishing. (View)


CHRISTMAS THROUGH INTO THE NEW YEAR. - 1/10/2022 8:58:45 PM

LEE GROUP Dec 26th we hosted the Lee family for a day on the water a good mixed bag for them with a few mahi mahi tuna and 6 sailfish released! (View)


Ambition Report 11th. January’22 - 1/11/2022 5:56:16 PM

The weather looked too good to pass up yesterday. That together with reports of Marlin and good-sized Mahi Mahi was enough for me to do a socia (View)


January Fishing Is Nice | Changes Next Week - 1/9/2022 10:54:03 AM

January 9 2022 – Well that was pretty nice start to January fishing last week with air temps in the mid 70s and winds down around the 10 – 12 k (View)


Inexplicable adventures sensations that touch the soul - 1/8/2022 10:36:28 AM

This was what welcomed us yesterday in the Pacific Ocean of Guatemala [Stripe Marlin Sailfish Mahi-Mahi Dolphins turtles & More ]... (View)