Mahi-mahi season is here, and we couldn’t be more excited! Known as one of the most sought after fish in recreational fishing due to their beauty, size, food quality, and fight, mahi-mahi are most abundant April through August. Here we take a closer look at this popular fish.
Mahi-mahi (a.k.a. common dolphinfish and dorado) is a surface-dwelling, ray-finned fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Its name in Hawaiian means “very strong”, and in Spanish it means “golden”, derived from its beautiful golden hue. Because of its common name, “dolphin”, mahi-mahi is commonly confused with bottle nosed dolphin. However, they couldn’t be more different in appearance or relation. Bottle-nosed dolphins are “smiling”, air-breathing mammals while mahi-mahis are water-breathing fish.
While the average life span of mahi-mahis is only four years, they are among the fastest-growing fish that spawn in warm ocean currents throughout the year. The average size is anywhere from 15 to 29 pounds, a great catch considered to be between 30 to 39 pounds, and an exceptional catch is anything over 40 pounds. Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and a single, long-based dorsal fin extending from the head almost to the tail. They are best known for their dazzling colors – golden on the sides with bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head and are typically smaller than males. When mahi-mahis hunt prey, three black diagonal stripes appear on each side of the body.
When it comes to the catch, look for floating debris in off-shore waters around 120 feet deep where these carnivorous fish travel in schools and feed on flying fish, crabs, squid, mackerel, and other forage fish. Expect a good fight as mahi-mahis are extremely strong and fast swimmers that can travel speeds up to 57 mph. Once a mahi-mahi is caught and out of the water, its golden color often changes to several different hues before finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death.
For tips on how to catch mahi-mahi, click here.
This spectacular fishing season will be over before you know it! Book your chartered off-shore fishing trip in Venice, LA today! For more information, please give us a call.