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How To Catch Mahi-Mahi (Dorado/Dolphin) in the Florida Keys

How To Catch Mahi-Mahi (Dorado/Dolphin) In The Florida Keys

Mahi-Mahi, also known as dolphin fish or dorado, is a fish with a distinct appearance. They have a bluish-greenish body with a yellow glow. If you know what you’re looking for, you can’t miss it.

These beautiful fish live in tropical and subtropical regions, and their habitat stretches across the globe. Mahi-Mahi are popular targets because of the way exciting to catch. They are big strong fighters that jump and put on a show making them super fun to catch. They tend to run in schools so once you see one there is a good chance you will see more. Plus. they are a very tasty fish.

What To Look Out For When Fishing For Mahi-Mahi

Mahi-Mahi are schooling fish. If you find a school of Mahi-mahi, you’ve got a shot at getting one. But where do schools of Mahi-mahi congregate?

Weed lines

Weed lines are some of the most important things to keep an eye out for. They provide a natural habitat for Mahi-mahi and other types of fish. These weed lines are made of sargassum, which is brown and orange grass floating on the surface. Weed lines are easy to spot and are a great place to fish for dorado.

Floating Structures

Mahi often hang out around and under floating structures. Floating structures can mean anything, like a floating log, a buoy, or large pieces of sea trash, or even a turtle swimming at the surface.

Birds Circling Overhead

When you see birds flying overhead and diving, it means there’s food. It also means that there might be Mahi Mahi there, too.

How To Fish For Mahi-Mahi

Mahi-Mahi are most easily found near weed lines. If you want to fish for Mahi-mahi, look for a well-defined weed line. This will make the whole process easier. You will get caught on fewer weeds and won’t have to reset your spread too much.

What is the best bait for Mahi-mahi? Rigged ballyhoo, skirted ballyhoo, squid, dolphin rigs, and dolphin lures work best. Rigged ballyhoo skips across the water, attracting Mahi-mahi.

Three most popular ways to catch Mahi-mahi: Trolling, “Run &Gun”, and site fishing.

1. Trolling is the most popular technique used for catching Mahi-mahi. When trolling for Mahi-Mahi, Generally, you want to be at a speed between five and seven knots.

Trolling with skirted rigged ballyhoo and lures called Dolphin Riggs.

2. “Run & Gun” is my favorite. You look for birds diving. They are feeding on bait fish. You will find larger fish such as Mahi-Mahi and tuna also feeding. Once the birds are located, “gun” the boat motor at full speed and “run” to catch up with the birds and baitfish. Then you put out of your trolling Riggs and get ready for the zinging sound of your reel when the fish takes your bait.

3. site fishing. Look for weed lines or debris on the surface. Slowly drift up to it and cast below it.

If you see shiny green or blue, The dolphin are there.

Once you have a bite, you’ll likely see other Mahi-Mahi attacks the line. Fishing for dorado can be chaotic because you have to contend with the fish on your line fighting to get away and deal with the other fish attacking the line! These schoolies are easy to bring to the surface, though: toss some cut bait in the area and watch them surface. This provides an opportunity for other anglers on your boat to get a catch. Remember to leave one on the line in the water so the other mahi-mahi will stay on the boat.

Sea Bird Marina in Long Key

We’re proud to be one of the longest-operating Florida Keys marinas on Long Key. Sea Bird Marina has been in our family for three generations, and we want to share our love of fishing with you. You can also find the best Florida Keys Bait Shops to ensure your adventure is a success.

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