The Bahamas Dorado (Mahi Mahi)
Among trophy fish, the Dorado has few rivals. This fish provides a stunning display when mounted on a wall. With a large, square head tapering towards a lithe scissor-shaped tail, this unique species will catch anyone's interest. It possesses an amazing dorsal fin that runs almost completely down its back. It also has a complimentary anal fin that extends along the back one-half of its underside. In addition, the skin of this fish radiates primarily gold with swathes of blue and green. When captured, the fish changes color to a solid dull gold. The Dorado isn't just limited to looking good on a plaque. The flesh of this fish has a delicate, sweet flavor that's steadily boosting its popularity in restaurants.
Knowing the Target
This initial description has probably piqued your interest in setting out to nab one of these beauties. To get a better idea of how to go about this, it helps to gather more information. The Dorado has a surprisingly wide range of ocean habitats. While it's mainly concentrated in the tropics, it can be found even in subtropical waters. Because of its wide-spread populations, its been a favorite of many cultures around the world and is known by many names including dolphinfish, dorade, coryphene, and lampuga. In the US, it's known by the Hawaiian name of mahi-mahi. This is something to keep in mind if you want to taste-test one at a restaurant before catching your own. At a typical size of 30 pounds and 3 feet, it makes an impressive trophy. They have been known to reach an even more impressive 6 feet at over 65 pounds, though. With a rapid maturation and hardy constitution, these fish are in no immediate danger of being over-fished.
The dolphin fish spends its time close to the surface. It rarely dives lower than 280 feet. It also has a strong preference for the shade supplied by floating debris and seaweed. In fact, one great location to find these fish is the Sargasso Sea area that borders Florida on one side and the Bahamas on the other. This makes Bahamas charter fishing a popular way to reel in one of these creatures. They find these environments attractive mainly because they provide quarters for smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans that they love to eat. As predators, dolphin fish hunt primarily by day using their eyesight to guide them to a target. With a speed as high as 58 mph, they're quite successful at it. This quality also makes them a worthy challenge for larger ocean predators and human foes.
Armed with this basic information, you're probably looking forward to a Bahamas charter fishing expedition or other similar adventure aimed at hooking a prized mahi-mahi. As has already been pointed out, these fish love areas with seaweed mats and similar material. An experienced fishing guide should be well aware of this. Another giveaway is the presence of frigate birds that are attracted to many of the same food species. If the birds are on the hunt, the dolphin fish are probably doing the same thing. Once a promising site has been located, the most common method of drawing in the mahi-mahi is by releasing a batch of ballyhoo or sardines into the water. This unleashes the predatory instincts of the dolphin fish and they pursue their prey. In the melee, your job simply involves casting a 30 to 50 pound line with a fly attached to the aroused mahi-mahi. Occasionally, teaser lures are used in place of the live fish. Once hooked, it's time to get your camera ready and bathe in the glory of victory.