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Mahi-Mahi are often referred to as dorado or dolphin fish. They are just as beautiful as they are delicious. These fish typically live for about 5 years and are some of the fastest growing fish, making them a sustainable harvest. The males are referred to as bulls and the females are called cows. Mahi are mostly found in schools but larger individuals can be found traveling solo. Mahi-Mahi are medium size fish with 15-30 pounds being common.


You can find these fish in water as shallow as 75 feet along drops offs, as well as in the open water chasing bait, and under kelp paddies here in California. Mahi typically stay shallow in the water column, usually above 10m with most fish I have encountered being right on the surface. Water temperatures ranging from 70-82 degrees with 75-78 degrees being optimal.

Photo: Chris Bowerman

Year round most tropical and subtropical places. Pay attention to the water temperatures stated above and temperature breaks. Here in California, July through September tend to be better times due to ideal water temps. 


These fish are not shy and respond well to flashers and chum. I find them around kelp paddies where the water temperature is in the 70s, and crashing on bait in the same zone. Try not to shoot from the surface, it can make easy shot a lot harder. I do a little dive to 5 or 10' down to bring the curious fish in closer. I do my best to avoid eye contact when I dive. Sometimes I will dive facing completely opposite direction to the fish.  Recommend gear would be any speargun around 50" with two bands. Floatlines are not needed with this fish, and when the run they typically run horizontally along the surface or in a circle.

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