Summertime Mahi Fishing in Florida
Mahi fishing in Florida, also known as dolphin fishing or dorado fishing, is a popular activity in the sunshine state. Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) are vibrant, fast-swimming fish found in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida coast.
Here’s an overview of Mahi fishing in Florida:
- Season and Location: Mahi fishing in Florida is typically best during the spring, summer, and early fall months. The fish migrate along the coast, following warm ocean currents and feeding on baitfish. Key locations for Mahi fishing include the Gulf Stream, the Florida Keys, the Atlantic coast, and offshore waters.
- Trolling: Trolling is a common technique used for Mahi fishing. Anglers use specialized fishing boats equipped with outriggers to deploy multiple lines with lures or bait. The boat moves at a slow speed, dragging the lures behind it. This method covers a larger area and increases the chances of attracting Mahi-mahi.
- Bait and Lures: Mahi-mahi are voracious eaters and can be enticed by various baits and lures. Some popular choices include skirted trolling lures, feathers, plastic squids, and live bait such as small fish like ballyhoo or pilchards. Brightly colored lures, especially those with blue, green, yellow, or pink shades, are often effective in attracting Mahi-mahi.
- Structure and Floating Objects: Mahi-mahi are known to gather around floating debris, such as seaweed, logs, or floating buoys, which serve as natural floating habitats. These objects often attract smaller fish and other marine life, which, in turn, draw in Mahi-mahi. When fishing offshore, keep an eye out for any floating debris or signs of bird activity, as they are indicators of potential Mahi-mahi presence.
- Chumming: Chumming involves scattering small pieces of baitfish or fish parts into the water to create a feeding frenzy and attract Mahi-mahi. This technique is often used when Mahi-mahi are spotted near the boat but are not actively biting. Chumming can increase the chances of enticing them to strike your bait or lures.
- Fighting and Landing: Mahi-mahi are known for their acrobatic leaps and strong fighting ability. Once hooked, they can put up a thrilling battle, often making spectacular jumps and powerful runs. Anglers should be prepared to fight the fish while maintaining a steady grip on the fishing rod. Mahi-mahi are usually landed using a net or gaff once they are brought close to the boat.
- Apparel: It can be very hot trolling around in the summertime. The intense heat reflecting off of the water is also sure to give you a nice sun burn. Prevent sun burn and over-exposure to UV Rays with a hooded Red Rum Performance Fishing Shirt and Hat.
Remember to follow local fishing regulations and size limits, as they can vary depending on the area and the species. It’s also important to practice responsible fishing by releasing undersized or unwanted fish back into the water.
Always consult local fishing guides or charter services for the most up-to-date information on Mahi fishing in Florida, as fishing conditions and techniques may vary based on the time of year, current weather patterns, and specific locations.