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The Ultimate Guide on how to Catch Mahi Mahi in Florida – Tips and Techniques

Mahi Mahi is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical, and subtropical waters worldwide. Also widely called dorado (not to be confused with Salminus brasiliensis, a fresh water fish) and dolphin, it is one of two members of the family Coryphaenidae, the other being the pompano dolphinfish. (source: Wikipedia)

The Mahi Mahi is known for its vivid blue, green, and yellow glow. They will change color in the water based on their intensity and instinct. They are like a swimming “mood ring”. Mahi Mahi have a long dorsal fin that extends from their head to their tail.

Where to Catch Mahi Mahi?

Mahi Mahi are a common fish that can be found in temperate, subtropical, and tropical waters. More specifically, they will typically be found in waters with the temperatures between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/83 °F. Some of the most popular places where anglers go to catch Mahi Mahi are the Florida Keys, the Atlantic Coast of Florida, Costa Rica, Panama, Hawaii, and Baja, California.

Here in Stuart, Florida Fishing Charter, Mahi-Mahi are prolific to the waters here particularly in the St. Lucie Inlet in Stuart, Florida during the months of November through June.

Best Bait for Mahi Mahi

Additional trivia: Mahi Mahi came from the Hawaiian word “strong-strong”. So, when it comes to fishing Mahi Mahi, you need to use all your strength and a durable lure and bait to catch it. Short, blistering runs can end with a deep dive, then the fish stubbornly turning on its side and refusing to come up.

You’ll want to grab a rod and reel combination well-suited for a 30-pound fused line. Your rod should be around 7-foot long with a rapid to extra-fast action with the ability to handle lure weights up to one ounce.

Baits? Though their mouths are relatively small, it’s amazing how much they can actually swallow, including large baits. They mostly eat fish, so traditional bait fish like sardines and Pacific Mackerel work well to bait them. The larger the fish, the larger the bait they’ll grab. Cut bait like shrimp and ballyhoo works well, too, but cut false albacore will drive them wild.

What are the Regulations for Fishing Mahi Mahi in Florida?

When it comes to recreational fishing, you can expect Florida to have one of the strictest rules. These rules are governed and implemented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They aim to protect and manage fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people. You can read the guidelines here.

Best Techniques to Catch Mahi Mahi

There are three popular techniques to catch Mahi Mahi.

First, you can troll weedlines for Mahi Mahi. When you are trolling weedlines for Mahi Mahi you ideally want the weed line to be very defined. If the weedline is defined you will get caught up on way less Sargassum and you will not have to reset your spread as often.

Second, you can troll around floating structures. Sometimes, Mahi Mahi can be found under floating structures and you won’t necessarily see them right away. This is why it can be effective to troll past floating structures such as buoys, balloons, or driftwood.

Finally, troll in the rip currents. Trolling currents can be an effective way to catch Mahi Mahi. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, there will be currents w/ weedlines in it. If this is the case you’re in a good spot. Take your time and work the weed lines and current for Mahi Mahi.

But, you don’t have to worry about this. Our captain at Hate 2 Lose Sport Fishing Charters has more than 30 years of experience fishing the Atlantic coast, the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. He has extensive knowledge in catching Mahi Mahi. You just have to enjoy the Stuart, Florida Charter Boat Excursion and cherish the experience.

Hate 2 Lose Sport Fishing Charters is located at Pirates Cove Resort and Marina Fishing Experience Charter.

Call us now at 561-818-6856 or  231-670-9873 to book your Charter Boat Trips on Hate 2 Lose Fishing Charters today! Or book here at for only $200