Florida Gulf Coast Fishing: Catch a Mahi-Mahi!

If you are looking for a deep-sea fishing adventure, mahi-mahi is the fish to catch! Luckily for you, this species of fish is very common off the Florida coast.

In this article, we will go through what it takes to reel in one of these acrobatic beasts.

What is a Mahi Mahi fish?

Mahi-mahi is a species of fish that lives in the deep seas. They can grow to weigh as big as 50 pounds on the Gulf Coast of Florida, however, it's common to catch them between 3 and 5 lbs.

Mahi are always eating and grow super fast, up to 5 inches a month!

They are also a highly migratory fish that lives under floating structures.

These fish are very common, but not many people have experience fishing for them due to their size and how deep they live.

The mahi-mahi is a member of the palegic fish family and has six spines on its dorsal fin. They are also known as dolphinfish or dolphin fish which comes from their natural swimming pattern that resembles dolphins.

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How common is Mahi-Mahi in Florida?

Mahi-mahi is a common catch off the Florida coast. Because they live in deep water, it is rare for them to get caught by fishermen who do not know how to fish at that depth or with specialized fishing gear that causes you to be stealthy.

What does Mahi-Mahi look like?

Mahi is a deep-sea fish that can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 30-50 pounds.

They have very vibrant colors and their scales are very easy to see, especially near the dorsal fin.

The mahi-mahi is a member of the palegic fish family and has six spines on its dorsal fin.

They have been known as dolphinfish or dolphin fish which comes from their natural swimming pattern that resembles dolphins.

Their colors are also quite vibrant with blue, and green scales.

What does it take to catch a Mahi-Mahi?

To catch mahi-mahi you need to find the right type of gear and bait.

You can commonly find them under floating debris or weed lines and can sometimes suddenly appear while anchored.

When you catch a mahi-mahi, they put on a fantastic display and for this reason can be difficult to catch!

Gear needed to catch Mahi-Mahi

In order to catch mahi-mahi, you need the right gear and bait.

To get to this depth it may be necessary to equip yourself with specialized fishing gear:

Fishing Rod and Reel Combinations

You can use a fast action rod with an open-faced spinning reel.

It is best to use light spinning gear, again as stealth is the key to catching these beautiful fish.

Fishing Line

This should be heavy enough not to break if caught up by one of the Mahi-Mahi's powerful jaws but still flexible enough to cast far out into open water.

Use a line that is rated for deep-sea fishing with a minimum weight of 20-30 lbs.

Bait and Lures needed

Since mahi-mahi is a deep-sea fish, you need to use bait that sinks quickly and has an odor mahi-mahi love.

Some good baits include sardines or pilchards. You also want lures like spoons or plugs as these draw in the mahi-mahi by showing them what they can eat!

Chumming the water when fishing for mahi is important as it will keep the school of mahi around and give you the chance to catch more than one!

Tips for reeling in a Mahi-Mahi

Once your line goes tight and starts pulling on your rod tip, reel up slowly while maintaining pressure until it reaches the surface of the water.

Now just bring this giant beast in!

Be sure not to drop any hooks when unhooking because there are some strong teeth lurking in their mouths!


If you want to try reeling in mahi-mahi, there are a few things you need to know. You will need the right gear for deep waters and bait that sinks quickly. It may also be necessary to use specialized fishing gear that most good fishing charters will have.

If you can afford it, a fishing charter is the way to go as they will provide you with all the gear necessary to bring in these trophy fish.

If you are looking for a fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida that will give you a good chance to catch a Mahi-Mahi, Contact us today