How to Catch Mahimahi Fish

How to Catch Mahimahi Fish
Mahimahi, also known as dolphinfish, are often considered to be second to none when it comes to table fare. In addition to providing tasty fillets, mahimahi are also know for their jumping and strong runs when hooked. Mahimahi are caught in deep offshore waters and big bulls can weigh up to 80 pounds. When targeting mahimahi after a long offshore boat run, it pays to have a variety of baits and employ several different techniques to help catch these desirable fish.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Light and medium spinning or casting tackle
  • Variety of live and cut bait
  • Artificial lures (jigs, crank baits, feathers)
  • Terminal tackle
Step 1
Target mahimahi by first running far enough offshore until you find sargassum weeds or a flock of feeding birds. Large rafts of sargassum or weedlines are likely habitat for mahimahi. Birds will often be feeding above schools of mahimahi that are attacking baitfish.
Step 2
Rig up a medium sized trolling rod with a feather jig or rigged ballyhoo. Troll up and down the weedline. Mahimahi that are under the weedline will often strike a trolled lure that passes close by their location. Troll around any birds you may see that are feeding.
Step 3
While trolling, keep on the lookout for mahimahi. Many times you will be able to see schools or individual fish, especially when you are close to weedlines or floating debris. When fish are spotted, rig up a light or medium spinning rod with a hook and toss cut bait to the fish. Chum with cut bait to help attract and keep the mahimahi close to your boat.
Step 4
Often the mahimahi may refuse to bite. In this case, it pays to have some live bait in the livewell. When a fish is spotted, toss a live pinfish or ballyhoo to the mahimahi. A well presented live bait will often fool a finicky fish, so don't give up until you have tried every technique.

Tips & Warnings

When a fish is hooked, other mahimahi will normally follow. Target these fish before the first fish is landed.
Make sure all tackle is in good shape and the hooks are sharp. A large mahimahi will test your tackle.
Mahimahi can be violent when brought inside the boat, so quickly put any fish in the cooler until they calm down.

Article Written By Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray has been writing for over 15 years. He has been published in "Florida Sportsman" magazine. He holds an FAA airframe and powerplant license and FCC radiotelephone license, and is also a licensed private pilot. He attended the University of South Florida.

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