How to catch Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) Fish

When someone is thinking of gamefish, one of the first things that come to mind, is the dorado fish. Dorado or Mahi – Mahi or Dolphin Fish are considered to be one of the most pretty looking gamefish, given the fact that they are brightly colored and big. However, catching a fish of this type is a somewhat difficult task, since it is a fish that fights hard once it’s hooked.

A very interesting fact is that this fish can change the brightness of its color! So when you are fishing for dorado, and you catch one, you can clearly see its bright yellow or green, almost neon-like color as it goes into crazy swimming mode in order to get away. This fish is so energetic that the line can get off your reel at up to 57 miles per hour! Even fishing for mahi-mahi at night can be extremely fun, especially if there is phosphorescent plankton in the water! Oh and by the way, fishing is not the only fun part about dorado…

After grilling the fish you can enjoy a very delicious meal, as it’s one of the best eating fish in the ocean. In order to correctly discuss how to catch dorado fish we should get to  know more about three factors: where to go fishing, what type of gear to use and what techniques are more effective. Let’s start!

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Where should I go fishing for Dorado?

Dorado is a type of fish that can be found in saltwater all around the globe, specifically in the warm regions that are south and north of the equator. They tend to swim at 20 feet deep and they don’t dive, thus making it a great target for fast moving boats. In general it is not a fish that’s difficult to find. Anyone that decided to sail across warm ocean can find themselves catching some mahi-mahi.

Even by getting a small boat or a kayak, you can try to catch some dorado. A helpful tip is to find any type of structure or floating mass of seaweed, in order to increase the chances of alluring this type of fish. And if you are a foodie that’s concerned about how many fish you need in order to feed yourself or maybe even  other people, then keep in mind that one dorado is big enough to feed around 4 people!

What is the best gear for catching Dorado fish?

When it comes to fishing, using the right type of gear is always important! In order to catch different species, you should probably use different gear. That’s why in order to catch some mahi-mahi you definitely need to have the right gear with you! It is known that the needed gear for this case is actually a bit big, bulky and tough.  The correct rod should be medium-heavy to heavy and around 7 feet long.

The line should be heavy enough, so we are talking about braided line that weights 20-40 lbs. It would also be a smart choice to have a couple of extra rods with you, when you’re boat fishing for big fish like this one. Your purchase when it comes to reel should be a very smart choice, since a good all-around reel can be used very heavily.

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Your reel of choice should be strong enough for when you catching fish that fight back -just like our dorado fish- and you can use baitcasting, trolling or spinning reel. You should also consider buying the right type of lure. There are specific lures that you can use for catching dorado, such as squid-like or fish-resembling artificial, brightly colored lure.

What techniques are effective in catching mahi-mahi?

Let’s say you have the right gear with you, the weather is wonderful, you’re out in the open sea, yet you haven’t caught even one dorado. That’s probably because you’re not using the correct techniques. Keeping in mind how violently this fish reacts when hooked, you need to use the right techniques when fishing. Trolling is one of the most effective ways.

More specifically, you need to troll weedlines, creating very defined lines. You can also troll around floating structures or in the rip currents, since there might be weedlines right there. Make sure to troll fast, between 2 and 9 knots, and be consistent. Once you hook into the dorado fish, be prepared to put on a fight, by putting your boat in neutral and using all your strength.

If you are not a fan of trolling, or you don’t have your trolling gear with you, you can also try drifting while using chunk or live lure around weedlines. If you notice a floating structure that seems like a good spot, you should tip your jig with some squid of ballyhoo, then cast it near the debris and let it sink down.

UPDATE: Here are some new photos from our latest catch on Ionian Sea in Greece this October:

Final thoughts

Now that you know all the needed information about how to catch a dorado or mahi-mahi or dolphin fish, it’s time to actually go and try it out! We’re certain that it’s going to be a fantastic fishing trip for you and your fishing buddies! Have fun!

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