Fishing for Mahi Mahi: How to Target These delicious fish

Fishing for Mahi Mahi: How to Target These delicious fish

Fishing for Mahi Mahi: How to Target These Delicious Fish

Mahi Mahi, also known as dolphin fish, is one of the most popular fish among anglers. These fish are known for their bright colors, fast and acrobatic fight, and delicious taste. Mahi Mahi are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world, and they are a favorite among sport fishermen due to their strength and agility. If you are looking to catch Mahi Mahi, then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know to target these delicious fish successfully.

Location and Habitat

Mahi Mahi can be found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. They are commonly found in warm waters near the equator, and they migrate from south to north during the summer months. Mahi Mahi are pelagic fish, which means that they live in the open ocean and are not associated with the bottom. These fish prefer to swim near floating debris, such as weed lines, logs, and buoys, which provide shelter and food for them. Mahi Mahi can also be found near structures such as oil rigs, which attract baitfish and other marine life.

Tackle and Gear

To target Mahi Mahi, you will need a rod and reel that is strong enough to handle their fast and acrobatic fight. A medium-heavy spinning or conventional rod with a fast action and a 20-30 pound test line is ideal. Mahi Mahi are known for their sharp teeth, so it's important to use a wire leader to prevent the fish from cutting the line. Fluorocarbon leaders are also a good option since they are less visible underwater.

When it comes to lures, Mahi Mahi are attracted to bright colors and fast-moving baits. Some popular lures for Mahi Mahi include:

  • Trolling lures: These lures are designed to be pulled behind a boat and imitate a swimming fish. Mahi Mahi are attracted to lures that are brightly colored, such as green, yellow, pink, or orange.

  • Squid lures: These lures imitate a squid, which is one of the Mahi Mahi's favorite prey. Squid lures are usually fished on a spreader bar or a daisy chain rig.

  • Topwater lures: These lures are designed to float on the surface of the water and create a commotion that attracts Mahi Mahi. Topwater lures are ideal for targeting Mahi Mahi that are swimming near floating debris.

Bait and Chumming

Mahi Mahi are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat a variety of baits, including live baits, cut baits, and artificial baits. Some popular baits for Mahi Mahi include:

  • Ballyhoo: These small fish are a favorite among Mahi Mahi and are often used as live bait or rigged with a lure.

  • Squid: Mahi Mahi are known to feed on squid, so using a squid as bait can be very effective.

  • Tuna: Mahi Mahi are attracted to the scent of tuna, so using a piece of tuna as bait or chum can help attract them to your boat.

Chumming is also an effective way to attract Mahi Mahi to your boat. Chumming involves throwing small pieces of bait into the water to create a scent trail that the fish will follow. You can use a chum bag or a bucket to dispense the chum.


Mahi Mahi can be caught using a variety of techniques, including trolling, casting, and drifting. Here are some tips for each technique:

  • Trolling: Trolling is one of the most popular techniques for targeting Mahi Mahi. You can use a variety of lures, such as skirted trolling lures, to attract Mahi Mahi to your boat. When trolling, it's important to vary your speed and direction to mimic the movement of a swimming fish. Mahi Mahi are often found near floating debris, so trolling near weed lines, logs, and buoys can be very effective.

Casting: Casting is another effective way to target Mahi Mahi. When casting, use a light lure or bait, such as a jig or a small piece of cut bait. Cast your lure or bait near floating debris, and reel it back in using a fast, erratic retrieve. Mahi Mahi are known to be curious fish, so a fast retrieve with a lot of movement can often trigger a strike.

Drifting: Drifting is a popular technique for targeting Mahi Mahi in deeper waters. Use a light rig with a small piece of cut bait or a small squid, and drift it along the surface of the water. Mahi Mahi are often found near the surface, so drifting your bait at the right depth can be very effective.

Tips for Success

Here are some additional tips for targeting Mahi Mahi:

  • Look for birds: Mahi Mahi often swim near schools of baitfish, which are often chased to the surface by birds. If you see birds diving into the water, it's a good sign that there are Mahi Mahi nearby.

  • Use polarized sunglasses: Mahi Mahi are often seen swimming near the surface of the water, so using polarized sunglasses can help you spot them from a distance.

  • Be prepared for a fight: Mahi Mahi are known for their fast and acrobatic fight, so be prepared for a battle when you hook one. These fish are strong swimmers and will often make long runs and jump out of the water.

  • Handle with care: Mahi Mahi are delicate fish, so it's important to handle them with care. Use a wet towel or gloves to handle the fish, and release them quickly if you don't plan on keeping them.

In conclusion, targeting Mahi Mahi can be a fun and rewarding experience for anglers. These fish are not only delicious but also put up a thrilling fight. By using the right tackle and gear, baits and lures, and techniques, you can increase your chances of catching Mahi Mahi on your next fishing trip. Just remember to handle them with care and release them quickly if you don't plan on keeping them. Happy fishing!

Back to blog

Leave a comment