One of the most popular offshore gamefish in the offshore waters of the southeastern United States is the Mahi Mahi, otherwise called a dolphin fish. The dolphin fish is a spectacular fighter that makes acrobatic leaps when hooked. Not only are mahi-mahi exceptional fighters, but they display magnificent coloration. Lastly, but most importantly, the dolphin fish makes excellent table fare. Here is how to catch dolphin fish and cook grilled mahi mahi.
How Do You Identify A Mahi Mahi
The dolphin fish is easily identifiable based on their color and shape. Interestingly enough, the males differ from the females based on the slope of the head.
To identify a mahi mahi, look for these characteristics. When looking at the fish’s body, it tapers in size from the mouth to the fork in the tail.
The dorsal fin is unique as it extends from the eye along the top of the fish to the tail and is blue in coloration.
When it comes to color, you are looking at a rainbow. The lowest portion is yellow before turning to green and blue along the top. However, it is not uncommon for dolphin fish to flash chartreuse, purple, and gold when in a feeding frenzy.
How Do you Cath Dolphin Fish Off Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina
When it comes to finding and catching dolphin, owning a vessel capable of making long runs is necessary.
The blue water is well offshore of these three states so expect to run for a minimum of 60 miles.
Once you have reached the blue water, look for sargassum weed and floating debris, and this is where the fish congregates.
Here is a breakdown of the gear and lures required for catching mahi mahi.
When targeting dolphin, we are not talking about small fish. It is not uncommon to land fish ranging between twenty and fifty pounds.
To match the size of the fish, troll 20 and 25 sized conventional reels with 30 or 40-pound monofilament line. The reels are best paired with medium to heavy fishing rods.
However, prepare a spinning reel or two with a circle hook despite the need to locate dolphin by trolling. When dolphin fish gather in schools, pitch a bait to those swarming the boat.
The dolphin fish remains on the prowl for food and therefore are ready and willing to strike skirted lures dragged across the surface.
We have caught dolphin fish on skirted lures fished naked, tipped with a bonita strip, or rigged with ballyhoo.
Mix and match the presentation to determine what is most appetizing to the fish on that particular day.
Landing And Icing Mahi Mahi
When the fish are hooked utilize a gaff to bring the fish from the water, over the side of the boat, and into the cooler. Ensure the fish remain well iced to preserve freshness until arriving back home.
How Do You Make Grilled Mahi Mahi
Once you arrive back home you can take the time to prepare for grilling mahi mahi. Dolphin fish is ideal when grilled because the fillets are thick and the flakes are large. Follow these steps when grilling mahi mahi.
Step 1. Rinse The Fillets
Once the fish is filleted, rinse the fish in the sink to remove scales and other contaminants from the meat.
Step 2. Heat The Grill
Heat the grill to 350 degrees while preparing the fillets to be cooked on the heated surface.
Step 3. Season The Fillets
Add your favorite seasonings to the fillets. We recommend marinating the dolphin fish in italian dressing or seasoning with cajun. Either of the two is a delicious option.
Step 4. Grill The Mahi Mahi
After the grill has been heated to 400 degrees place the fillets on the lower racks. Cook the fish for two to three minutes on each side. Avoid overcooking as the fish will become dry.
Step 5. Serve The Grilled Mahi Mahi
Once the fish is cooked, remove and place on a serving dish. Ensure that everyone is ready to avoid the fillets from becoming cold.
We recommend pairing the grilled mahi mahi with grilled asparagus, baked potatoes, coleslaw, or french fries. Lastly, make sure to offer a lemon and tartar sauce.
Catch And Cook Grilled Mahi Mahi
Anglers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia have the opportunity run offshore and catch dolphin fish. Mahi Mahi makes an excellent meal when grilled. The fillets are mild, thick, and sweet. Remember, mahi mahi are offshore fish, and you will be required to own a sea-worthy vessel or hire a charter fishing captain.