Also known as "Dorado" meaning golden, they have a lifespan of up to 5 years, but seldom surpass 4 years. Dolphin have long compressed bodies with a single dorsal fin extending from the head to almost the tail. With sharp concave caudal tails, they are distinguished by their golden sides and brilliant blues and greens on the top and bottom of their bodies. Males are distinguished by their large block shaped head, and are generally much large than the females. Catches average between 15 and 35 lbs, with 40 lb Bulls (male) being exceptional. Just like with any average though, there are always outliers of up to 90 lb dorado caught off the coast of Hawaii and several small Bahamian islands.
Dolphin live in schools, primarily made up of one large Bull (male) and a few smaller Cows (female), along with several small juvenile "schoolies". Once they reach full maturity and mating age (usually around 4 or 5 months of age), Mahi Mahi will leave there school in search of a mate. Once found, the Bull and Cow will travel together constantly mating and forming there own school. This is why often, when you hook up on one large fish, another of the opposite sex is close by and usually your next hook up. This is known as a "double hitter".
Mahi Mahi put up an exhilarating fight once hooked. A large fish can fight for upwards of an hour, leaving both the fisher and the fish exhausted. With white flakey meat, they are extremely sought after in restaurants and fish markets alike.
My recommended method for landing a large Dolphin is to troll deep waters, with several lines let out trailing behind the boat, baited with fresh ballyhoo along with a skirt placed over the bait. Fresh ballyhoo are preferred, but frozen can be used if thawed and if one breaks the spines to allow for more movement in the water. Mahi are most prevalent during the summer months off the Florida Coast, and can insure for an exciting day out on the water followed by a delicious dinner that evening.