Mahi-mahi

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
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.

Latest Mahi-mahi Fishing Reports and Spots

Jim Preuninger Tuna Tiles Mahi - 8/27/2022 8:04:00 PM

Had regular Jim Preuninger and the boys out. Started tuna fishing getting some bites early on hammer 65 pound yellows. Then  tried a deep wreck (View)


Jordan Burroughs Offshore Mixed Bag - 8/24/2022 7:17:00 PM

Had Jordon Burroughs  back out before he leaves for the World Championship in Serbia next month where he was chosen as the #1 seed. This time h (View)


August 20 - 8/21/2022 3:29:00 PM

#mahi and #tuna #fearless #fearlessfishing (View)


Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 26 August 2022 🎣 - 8/26/2022 12:30:50 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 26/08/22 The @onstrikecharters crew out of Exmouth have ab (View)


Fishing Report August 10th Old Friend - 8/19/2022 5:06:12 PM

Today we have a great time with Mr Watson fishing offshore we release a nice pacific Sailfish 3 yellowfin tuna and 2 Mahi Mahi around 30 to 40 (View)


August 12 - 8/13/2022 6:58:00 AM

Some Mahi and tuna action today! (View)


18 August 2022 - 8/18/2022 2:59:58 AM

Hervey Bay Red emperor green jobfish snapper pearl perch tuskfish cod spanish mackerel black marlin and mahi mahi off Breaksea Spit snapper cor (View)


Casalle Family Mahi/Sea Bass - 8/14/2022 4:44:00 PM

Capt Greg and Capt Kenny had the Casalle family out for a midshore trip. Started mahi  fishing with fish on the first two pots then slow after. (View)


Kevin McCreesh Tuna and Mahi - 8/15/2022 9:29:00 AM

Had the Kevin McCreesh family out today made a long run south fishing new grounds and popped off a good one. Tried tilefishing but had zero drif (View)


Puerto Vallarta fishng report August - 8/14/2022 11:54:03 AM

Not many places in the world that can compare to the fishing mecca that is Puerto Vallarta in the summertime. In August you can expect to be c (View)