In the Florida Keys, one of the main staples of offshore fishing during the summer is the spectacular and colorful mahi-mahi. They are an extremely sought after fish because of their great jumping ability, and bright, beautiful colors. Not to mention that they also taste great! If you are targeting them specifically, here are a few friendly tips that I use to catch these spectacular fish this time of year.
First of all when offshore, look for the Gulfstream. Mahi-Mahi are a pelagic fish that likes to move with the currents of the ocean looking for their next meal. You can usually find the Gulfstream visually where the wave height is a little higher than just inshore of it. Several websites will give you a general distance of where it is on the day you are fishing.
Another great tip is to keep your eye out for anything different in the ocean. The ocean is just the same as a big pond or even a lake. Baitfish like to hang out where there are floating objects they can hide inside, or under, to protect themselves from predators. Finding something big floating in the ocean like a wooden board, tree, or even a pallet, is like finding gold! Whenever you find a floater, you should stop and either pitch live baits near the object or troll by it at the very least.
Look out for large collections of sargassum grass that make up weed lines formed by the current. These lines can be trolled by for the same reason we are interested in floaters. Fish are often hiding under them from predators that are either swimming in the sea or flying through the air.
Last but not least is to look for birds. The birds are out there to find something to eat just like you. Birds like to follow all kinds of fish in the summer. They especially like to follow Mahi which often chase flying fish. When flying fish launch themselves into the air to escape the jaws of a hungry Mahi there is often a bird there ready to swoop down and grab that fish as it glides through the air. There are several types of offshore birds found in the Florida Keys, and most of them will follow good eating fish at one time or another throughout the day.
Once you hook a Mahi bring it to the boat and leave it in the water for a few moments to see if others arrive. It is quite common for a whole school of Mahi to settle in behind the boat and its easy pickings! Mahi will eat live bait and cut bait, they usually are not too picky. Just make sure to leave a Mahi in the water at all times while you catch the others.
Hopefully, a few of these tips will help you out on your next offshore adventure. Just remember though please bring your etiquette when headed out. If you see someone else working on some structure, for some birds, or even catching some fish, move on and find your own.
Remember, there are plenty of fish in the ocean, and doing your own work to find them is much more rewarding than stealing someone else’s fish! If you are looking for a Mahi fishing charter to hire in the Keys look no further call me at 305.481.4568 or book on my website. I would gladly take you offshore for a day and put you on the Mahi. Either way, have a fun day out in the deep blue, and good luck!