Catching and Preparing Mahi Mahi

When we are talking about dolphin, we are talking about the dolphin fish, unrelated to the marine mammal dolphin, known by most people from their Hawaiian name, Mahi Mahi or by their Pacific coast name Dorado and better known here in Florida and along the US East coast and dolphin.  This amazing fish is hard fighting, good tasting and a fast growing renewable ocean resource.  One of the fastest growing fish in the ocean, Mahi or Dolphin have a voracious appetite and are easy to entice to strike slow trolled artificial lures and if hooked and kept near the boat will bring others close by schooling dolphin in for a snack.  Mahi can be found practically worldwide and are a dinner time favorite everywhere.  The south east coast of Florida and the Keys are some of the best Dolphin fishing waters available.  Much like Sailfish, Dolphin are a pelagic species of fish – that is they roam the open ocean. They prefer warmer waters and the prime location for catching dolphin is the Gulfstream along the East Coast of Florida.

Best tactics for catching Mahi

It has always been a great summertime pleasure for me to troll for dolphin fish with artificial lures rigged with frozen ballyhoo.  Dolphin are surface feeders and if you closely watch your trolled baits you can see dolphin as they beeline in, generally at a right angle to the bait, for a steam roller strike.  Dolphin can be very acrobatic when they are hooked and give an angler a good show and thrilling battle.  I have always found that pink and white or black and red or black and white or the best color choices for artificial lures.  I like a skirt with a flat head that smokes and weaves and wobbles and leaves a bubble trail as it is pulled through the water.  I have trolled as many as six rods at a time with several different colors and styles of artificial lures rigged with ballyhoo.  The optimum trolling speed is about six knots depending on whether you are going with or against any prevailing currents and winds. Sight fishing plays an important role in dolphin fishing.  Watch for circling birds!  Even one lone bird hanging out in a certain area almost certainly means there is action beneath him.  Look out for schools of flying fish, one of the dolphins favorite snacks, a good sign dolphin are just below.  Dolphin like cover and you will typically find them around floating debris and weed lines of Sargasso seaweed.  Trolling rods in the 30 pound class with matching conventional reels spooled with 25 to 30 pound monofilament line make a perfect combo for catching dolphin.  I personally have caught dolphin on fly rod and reel and found it to be one of the most exciting open ocean challenges there is! Dolphin fishing is a relatively easy relaxing and enjoyable summertime trip that can bring big thrills, lots of fish and some very good eating!  Dolphin are the easiest blue water fish to catch for the average angler and pay off big time on the dinner table so get out there and perfect your technique!

Recipes for cooking and eating Mahi


Poor man’s LobsterCatching and Preparing Mahi Mahi


Ingredients (serves two)

  • 1 lb mahi mahi fillet
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions : Prep Time: 10 mins –  Total Time: 25 mins

  1. Cut fillets into 2 inch chunks and drizzle with the lemon juice.
  2. Pour the beer into the bottom of a saucepan (if using fresh lemon juice, toss the leftover lemon rind in with beer) and place a collapsible vegetable steamer over the beer.
  3. Bring the beer to a boil, place the fish chunks in the steamer, cover and steam for 5 to 10 minutes, dependent upon the thickness of the fish.
  4. The fish will be rubbery if it is overcooked.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the butter with the garlic and salt (I heat it slowly until the garlic is no longer raw).
  6. Remove the fish from the steamer and discard the beer/liquid/rind.
  7. Serve the fish chunks with the garlic butter dipping sauce and your favorite sides.

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi Recipe Catching and Preparing Mahi Mahi

Bursting with flavor and combines both sweet and sour taste sensations. The 30 minute prep time includes 20 minutes to marinate. This recipe is a snap and so delicious. You’ll love it!


  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
  3. Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately with your favorite side.