The mahi mahi fish is known for attracting many visitors to the area of Punta Cana. The name mahi mahi may seem a bit unfamiliar to some but this fish is also known as dorado or common dolphinfish.
The term mahi comes from the Hawaiian language, which means
“strong”. The fish was named that way due to its remarkable resilience.
Now as confusing as it may be this fish has nothing to do with the real
dolphins. When is sold at stores is commonly refer to mahi to prevent
people from thinking they are being offered actual dolphins. A very
large number of fishermen enjoy catching it, not only for sport but
also due to its good commercial value. The best time to catch mahi
mahis in Punta Cana is from October to February.
Features of the Mahi Mahi Fish
The mahi mahi can be found in waters with a temperature ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F). This means they are easily found in the tropics and subtropical areas. The waters close to Punta Cana for example is one place where this fish can easily be found. The appearance of the mahi mahi is pretty interesting. As you look at it closely; the combination of colors can be captivating. The bottom part of the fish has a white and yellow shade while the sides are distinguished by a golden, green and blue pigmentation. When agitated their tonality becomes brighter.
The males are significantly larger and have a bigger forehead than the females. This is the opposite of the marlins in which the females have a considerable larger size when compared to the males. The dorado is not as big as other sport fish like the marlin and the wahoo but they are a great alternative due to their higher availability. The average mahi mahi weights around 13 Kg (29 lbs) but certain specimens may get even over 40 Kg (88 lbs).
The fish lives relatively close to the surface, around 37 meters (121 ft), making it easier to locate than other fishes; of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t put a fight. They are strong and fast, managing a speed of almost 93 km/h.
Fishing for the Mahi Mahi
Before looking for the mahi mahi fish; is important to know their habits. They prefer to be near reefs at a depth of approximately 37 meters and close to all kinds of floating debris where they can get easily obtain their food. The mahi mahi likes to eat crabs, squids, flying fish and mackerels, this is very important as it gives you a clue on what kind of bait works better on them. One of the favorite techniques used by fishermen to find them is by observing the behavior frigate birds. This makes the fish location process simpler. Once you know where they are; you bait them with teasers, ballyhoo or by throwing a bunch of sardines in the water. Once they surface to feed, you throw the fly at them and wait for the hook.
There is another method used to get mahi mahi although is a bit unusual. It consists of using a kite while being on land to deliver the terminal tackle at the ending point of a fishing line.