Commonly referred to as Dollies!
The mahi mahi is a vibrantly coloured sport fish that sends the heart rates of all anglers racing with incredible aerial displays of both power and beauty. Mahi mahi is the Hawaiian name for the species which means, carer of the sea and has become more popular over the years than the former name of dolphin fish. A name which often confused the general public and people new to fishing with the mammal dolphin which no angler in their right mind would ever wish to harm. The Spanish name for this species, Dorado is derived from the word dolphin. Mahi mahi are highly regarded as both a sport and table fish among many angling groups across the state and are fast becoming one of Australia’s most popular offshore angling species!
Mahi mahi can be located from as far south as Rottenest Island right up to the Broome region throughout Western Australia and also from N.S.W. up into Queensland. They are more often than not encountered in extreme water depths of over 100 meters.
Mahi mahi are the fastest growing fish in the ocean and will grow to around 40kg in weight and reach a maximum length of around 1.8 meters, although a typical size mahi is around 3 – 6kg in most Australian locations with larger fish averaging between 12 – 15kg.
Mahi mahi prefer deeper continental waters and oceanic currents with depths of over 80 – 500 meters. Water temperatures of 22 – 27 degrees and higher are preferred. Mahi mahi can also be located around floating structures such as logs and plastic bags as well as man made F.A.D’s – (fish aggregating devices) and trap floats.
Mahi mahi can be easily identified by their bright green and gold coloured bodies and long forked tails. Bright bio luminescent dots are also present throughout the entire head and body of the fish. Male mahi have a large, blunt forehead shape and are generally larger than the females which are generally smaller and have a more tapered fore head and thinner bodies.
Mahi mahi are reasonably good eating whilst fresh.
Due to their impressive looks and outstanding fighting qualities the Mahi mahi is one of the most impressive sport fish this country has to offer!
Light to medium, spin, fly or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting Mahi mahi with light to medium strength braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 10 – 30lb proving ideal. 40 – 100lb nylon leaders should be attached to bright braided, nylon or gel spun lines to prevent fish from seeing the line and also to help prevent chafe offs on rough structures such as F.A.D‘s. Small to medium sized lever drag reels are best suited for most trolling purposes.
Although small to medium sized Mahi mahi can be taken using standard game fishing rigs and bait’s the larger specimens prefer live baits such as herring, blue, scaly and yellow tail mackerel and squid. Soft plastic lures and metal jigs as well as deep diving and skirted trolling lures are also suitable for larger mahi as are surface and sub surface stick baits and fly‘s.
Surprisingly enough for a strong attractive looking species the mighty Mahi mahi’s favourite lure colour is pink!
Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting most fish species around most areas although some deep water locations will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. New moon phases are also preferable for most fish species including deep water pelagic’s such as mahi mahi.