Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi

When you think of Destin, Florida, many people think of the warm sun and spectacular beaches. Ask an angler what they feel about the place, and they’ll exclaim, “it’s a fisherman’s paradise!” After all, people don’t book an offshore fishing charter here for nothing, especially when there’s a chance to catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi!

But you’re probably wondering – when you’re already in the waters, what can you do to increase the chances of getting Mahi Mahi? We’ll show you the tips and tricks!

Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi 

Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi

For those who aren’t too familiar with the mahi-mahi yet, let’s go over what it is. Mahi-mahi is also called many other names, such as the dorado or dolphinfish. You can find it worldwide, particularly in tropical and subtropical waters.

This fish species is well-known for its vivid blue, yellow, and green flow, changing colors in the waters depending on their instinct and intensity. Think of these fish as swimming mood rings!

Besides their colors, mahi-mahi is known for being a monster fish, being one of the fastest-growing fish in the waters. Female mahi mahi can grow to. 30-40 pounds, while male mahi-mahi can grow over 50 pounds. The biggest mahi-mahi caught was in 1976, weighing 87 pounds.

With their attractive colors and big size, mahi-mahi makes excellent table fare, another reason why fishermen target them. Plus, these are aggressive fish, so you’ll definitely have to put up a fight, making it worth the effort.

Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi:

Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi 

Where to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi

You can find Mahi Mahi in waters with temperatures between 68-83 degrees F. These fish are surface dwellers swimming close to the surface. You can find them in waters over 150′ though they are frequently caught in shallow and deep waters. Here are things to look for when you’re targeting Mahi Mahi:

  • Find weed lines, which are one of the easiest things to spot when looking for this fish. Look out for sargassum in particular, which is a kind of seaweed with an orange-brown color that clumps together offshore. These weed lines would extend for miles, creating a natural habitat for offshore game fish, mahi-mahi, and baitfish.
  • Look out for floating pieces of structure, whether it’s balloons, driftwood, refrigerator doors, tangled buoys, whatever. You may find Mahi Mahi hanging out nearby!
  • Mahi-mahi would usually swim in the offshore currents or temperature breaks, as they are more drawn to temperature breaks and like warm water. Offshore currents are usually on top of different humps offshore.
  • When you see sea birds flying overhead, there’s a good indication there’s bait around. That means you can find mahi-mahi and other offshore gamefish nearby.


Best Fishing Techniques

One of the most popular fishing techniques used to catch Destin Florida mahi-mahi is trolling because of its effectiveness. There are various ways you can troll for mahi-mahi, though we’ll focus on one specific technique known to work most times.

Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi 

How fast to troll for mahi-mahi

When trolling for mahi-mahi, you need to ensure you do so at the right speed. Remember, mahi-mahi are aggressive gamefish that would eat very quickly.

We recommend trolling between 2-9 knots for this fish, experimenting with varying speeds. Ensure you stay consistent and that the boat moves steadily.


Trolling spread

There’s no fixed science when trolling for mahi-mahi, but there are proven techniques. We recommend keeping it simple preparing an effective spread. It’s best to have about 3-4 rods out, even more, if you have outriggers. If you’re a beginner, then go for 2-3 rods.

A nice spread is having two rigged ballyhoos on the outside, using 1-2 artificial trolling lures on the center. Pink and blue are common lure colors for mahi-mahi. It’s best to use rigged ballyhoo, bubblers, bullet head, or squid as bait! That said, ballyhoo is the most effective bait you can use to catch Mahi Mahi.

 Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi

Hooping Up to a Mahi Mahi

When you hook into mahi-mahi, make sure the boat is neutral and prepare to fight the fish. If you’re with multiple people or a fishing guide and crew, let them reel in the other lines for help. Get ready to fight the fish, which would jump out of the water!

Once you get the fish on the side of the boat and you see other Mahi Mahi nearby, we recommend putting the rod in a rod holder, letting the fish stay in the water. That way, other Mahi Mahi would stay near the boat, making it the perfect opportunity to catch more mahi-mahi in a short amount of time!


Other Ways to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi

If you have no trolling gear, that’s alright! You can catch Destin Florida mahi-mahi through drifting using live or chink bait around weed lines. This is recommended if the weld lines are patchy, making it challenging for trolling.

When catching mahi-mahi off floating structures, then we recommend preparing your jigs. Tip the jig using a piece of squid or ballyhoo, casting it near the debris. Allow it to sink down to the fish.

You can also throw ballyhoo chunks to chum up the fish. If the mahi-mahi is uninterested in the chunks, consider casting your jog heat out without anything, which may entice a reaction strike.

Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi 

Wrapping It Up

If you want to catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi, you must be prepared with the right equipment, technique, and strength for this aggressive gamefish. If you’re new to some techniques, you can always join an offshore fishing charter, where the crew can help you catch mahi-mahi.

If you’re interested in catching mahi-mahi in Destin, then consider joining or hiring a fishing charter to make your fishing dreams come true! Contact us now, and let’s discuss when and what services you’d like.

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Destin Florida Fishing Charters » Tips and Tricks to Catch Destin Florida Mahi Mahi