How To Catch Summer Mahi In South Florida
All around the state, “weekend warriors” and charter captains arise every Saturday morning in the summer and fall on the same mission. The plan is simple - Catch a limit of mahi-mahi, or nail a big Bull.
Dolphin fishing is a favorite of anglers around the state due to the plentiful numbers of the fish as well as the many methods used to land them. Dolphin are a great fish to target for a novice angler as they aren’t picky, they are easy to find, and there are a lot of them.
Dolphin usually form groups of similar size. Dolphins under the 20” minimum limit are oft-referred to as peanuts, while dolphin over 10 pounds usually stop schooling together and often become highly sought after targets by all anglers.
Look For Sargassum, Frigates, Or Debri
Fishing patches of sargassum or looking for low flying Frigate birds are great ways to target Mahi. Any sort of floating structure or debris in deep water will be a great place to potentially find some of these beautiful fish. These fish prefer deeper water and will rarely be found in water shallower than 80 feet.
From a difficulty standpoint, Mahi are a perfect target. Dolphin are eager to take live bait, chunked baits, artificial lures or a fly. Their fast growth means they eat a lot of food, and for the weekend warrior who wants to ensure success on his fishing trip; the mahi won’t be matched in terms of its voraciousness. Mahi are also a really productive way for charter captains to keep their clients happy and tight on fish.
Great Eating Fish (Check Out Recipes For How To Catch Mahi)
For the purposes of keeping and eating fish, Mahi are some of the greatest targets in the ocean due to their fast growth, short lifespan, and constant reproduction. Mahi can grow up to 15 pounds in a single year and rarely live longer than four years. For these reasons, Mahi are an ideal candidate for keeping fish because they are able to reproduce fast enough at an early age to replace all of the fish being taken out.
I recall a trip I had a few months ago where were catching a whole group of schoolies just over the legal size of 20”. One fish lingered around the school that was closer to 15 pounds, and he wouldn’t take our chunked baits. A live bait didn’t do the trick either, but when we threw a rigged ballyhoo (learn how to rig ballyhoo) over the side and began to troll he gobbled it up. It only took us minutes to figure out how to fool this beautiful cow.
The final reason we all love fishing for mahi are for their tremendous fighting ability. When hooked, these fish will put on an aerial display that will be hard to forget. They will jump up to 15 times in a single fight and you can do it all on very light spinning tackle. Even big bulls are landed on only 20 pound test monofilament. To top it all off, these are without a doubt the most beautiful fish in the ocean, and they make for some great photos.
There you have it. What more can you ask for from a sport fish? Extremely plentiful, great tasting, hard fighting, acrobatic, and beautiful; Mahi are a favorite for most of us. I think it’s about time I finish writing and go out for some myself.
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