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Dolphin Fish, also known as Dorado or Mahi-Mahi is one of the most exciting species to catch in Miami, FL. There are few experiences in sportfishing which are more pleasurable than having a hungry school of these acrobatic and aggressive pelagic predators circling the boat. Mahi-Mahi are relatively easy to catch, if you can find them, and often grow in excess of 30lbs. In Miami waters, it’s common to catch mahi-mahi in the 5 to 10lb range, with the occasional “slammer” (a dolphin fish of 20lbs or more) mixed in.
While Mahi-mahi can be caught in relatively shallow water, anywhere from 130ft to 200ft, it is more common to find them in depths ranging from 500ft to 1500ft or deeper. These open ocean predators form large schools and migrate south along the coast line of Florida, in search of baitfish which often hide under floatsam and sargassam (floating seaweed). During the spring and summer months in Miami, FL – charter boats often troll down long weed lines which span miles – these sea weed beds often serve as important spawning grounds for baitfish and migratory species, creating floating ecosystems where mahi-mahi congregate in search of food and shelter from larger predators.
During a typical mahi-mahi fishing charter in Miami, FL, we will troll various current edges and weed lines offshore in search of bait fish. The key to finding mahi-mahi is to watch for birds, which often “lead the way” to schools of fish which are hunting at the surface for bait. While trolling is typically the key to covering large areas of water, live and chunk baits are used to “pitch” mahi-mahi while they are hunting on the surface. Once a fish is hooked, the other mahi-mahi in the school will react aggressively and follow their comrade directly to the boat. This is when the real fun begins. As the fish draw closer to the boat, it’s easier to hook multiple fish at a time – often creating a scenario where mahi-mahi will feed on nearly any piece of bait which hits the water. This is one of the reasons mahi-mahi fishing in Miami, FL is so satisfying – if you can get one fish to eat, the chances of catching many exponentially increases.
Mahi-mahi are one of the most delicious fishes in the ocean to eat. They grow rapidly, are a sustainable species, and their numbers replenish rapidly despite the commercial fishery which exists for them. Either on the grill, blackened, or deep-fried, Mahi-mahi provides some of the best table fare available for sportfishermen in the Miami, FL area. If you’re looking for an exciting, family friendly fishing experience, be sure to ask about our spring and summer mahi-mahi fishing charters!