Mahi Mahi Fishing Basics

Saltwater Fishing | Saltwater Fish

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Mahi Mahi are found offshore in open water.  Schools of mahi mahi can often be found around large weedlines of sargasso seaweed, floating grass, palm trees, floating boards and many other types of floating debris.

How to Catch Mahi Mahi

Trolling for mahi mahi is the most conventional way to catch these fish, but more and more anglers are sight fishing for mahi mahi.  Because these fish are often found around large weedlines and many different types of floating debris, some anglers will go find these spots and chum these areas to see if they can attract some mahi mahi to the boat.  The fishermen that troll for mahi mahi will usually fish for them with live bait once they find the schools of these fish.  Chumming works great to keep them near the boat and many anglers will try to keep one fish on the line in the water while the other anglers are re-baiting.  The school of mahi mahi will often follow the fish that is on your line, so this is a very good technique for catching multiple fish in one spot.

Recommended Tackle

The type of fishing will dictate how heavy or light you go with the tackle.  Some anglers go fairly light with medium heavy action rods and reels and 15 pound test line as they sight fish with live bait right next to the boat.  For most anglers 20 to 30 pound test line is the norm.  Many anglers will use a heavier fluorocarbon leader in the 40 to 50 pound range.  Heavy action rods are better for handling the bigger fish.

Eating Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi taste excellent.  There are a variety of ways to cook them up and they all work well.  This is a very popular fish to eat.

Offshore Fishing for Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi, also known as dolphin fish, are one of the most popular fish that you can catch offshore.  Trolling with ballyhoo is one of the most popular ways to target this fish offshore, but you can also catch them by casting with artificial lures, live bait or even fly fishing equipment.  Mahi Mahi will often school up around floating debris that is found in offshore waters.  You may find them around large weedlines of sargasso seaweed, floating grass, palm trees, floating boards and many other types of floating debris.  Once you find the mahi mahi, it is very common to chum with live bait, such as pilchards, to keep them near your boat.  It is not that difficult to keep the school feeding near your boat if you have enough chum and you can pick off one fish after another while they are feeding on your chum.  Anglers usually use medium to medium-heavy action rods with 30 to 50 pound test line.

Chumming for Mahi Mahi

Chumming is a great technique for bringing schooling fish closer to your boat and getting them into a feeding frenzy.  There are so many different ways that anglers chum and a variety of different techniques will work.  From small pieces of baitfish to homemade recipes that involve pasta soaked in menhaden oil or ground up with menhaden can be used to bring these fish closer to the boat.  Once you have the mahi mahi closer to the boat, catch them with your preferred technique.  They will hit a variety of lures, cut baits and live baits.

Sight Fishing for Mahi Mahi

Because mahi mahi will often come up near the surface to feed and they are easily chummed into a frenzy near the boat, you will often be sight fishing for these fish.  Anglers use a variety of baits from artificial lures to live baits to cut baits and they all work.  The key is getting your baits in front of the fish while they are actively feeding.  At times it will be super easy and they will hit the bait right near the boat.  However, it won’t always be that easy.  At times, you are going to have to be a little more stealthy and the bites will come farther from the boat.  Some good tips are to keep the sun behind you, use fluorocarbon leaders and make slightly farther casts.

Trolling for Mahi Mahi

Trolling is a popular fishing technique for targeting mahi mahi.  Look for weedlines or any other kind of flotsam in the water and troll the edges of these.  These fish will hide under these areas and they will usually come out and attack a bait pretty aggressively if you can get the right bait in front of them.  Anglers like trolling ballyhoo rigs for mahi mahi.  Crankbaits, spoons and flies will also take fish.


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