Skip to main content

Mastering the Mahi: Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Veteran Anglers [PICS]

Rebekah Lewis and Scott Yonan

Mahi mahi, dolphin, and dorado are all names for these gorgeous colorful catches that are not only beautiful, but easily the most delicious fish in the tropical waters.

The only problem is, the dolphin is a fighter! They aren't the easiest fish to catch by far, and will require skill, patience, and determination from even the best of anglers. But don't give up hope - your prize will be well worth the effort.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you master your mahi mahi.

Fishing Methods:

  • Trolling: Make sure your speed is on average five knots, no more than seven, no less than four. This will be just right for proper baiting practice, allowing the bait to skip about the water's surface and entice that dolphin
  • Depending on your boat and the number of anglers you have, your lines will differ. Best practices are at least two lines, however.
  • There may be a third line on the downrigger depending on space available and available hands on deck
  • Weedlines are always valuable, especially long ones
  • Always use live baiting when possible; this is the most effective for catching dolphin

Baiting Tactics:

  • Whenever possible, use live bait
  • Ballyhoo are the best, especially fresh ones
  • Another excellent bait is mullet and mullet strips
  • Artificial bait will work in a pinch

Tackling the Mahi:

  • Spinning rod and reel combo (at least 20-pound fused line, up to 30 pounds)
  • The rod should be at least seven feet long
  • Bucktails work well when navigating floating and loose debris
  • Your rod will work best if it's extra-fast action
  • Fused lines or braided lines are highly effective when dealing with casting distances, however, fused lines are preferred due to their resistance to knotting and abrasion
  • Hooks for bait
  • Don't forget those gloves - they will be a life-saver!
  • Finally, you've gotta have a cooler, at least 120 quarts. Freshly caught dolphin must go into the cooler immediately for many reasons, one being to simply calm him down and eliminate damages to the boat and its anglers.


Putting out your Lines: When and Where?

  • Most dolphin will be in or around the Gulfstream (you'll know when you get there and see the sparkling clear deep blue water all around)
  • Anywhere from 100-400 feet below the surface
  • Observe the amounts of weeds (more surface weeds = more dolphin)
  • Notice the flotsam (more flotsam = more dolphin)
  • The longer the weedline, the more likely you'll find dolphin
  • Check out the sky! Frigate birds and sea gulls will be your direct link to your catch as they follow the dolphin to find their own dinner

Now get out there and catch your dinner!

NEXT: Even the Smallest Holes Can House Huge Trout [VIDEO]

you might also like

Mastering the Mahi: Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Veteran Anglers [PICS]