Dorado (or Mahi-Mahi as they are called some places or dolphin fish as they are called in other places) are one of the world’s most popular gamefish. This article focuses on the Southern California and Northern Baja Dorado fishery. Dorado or Mahi Mahi are brightly colored, hard fighting, acrobatic fish when hooked. They are one of my favorite big gamefish to eat. Dorado are abundant in most tropical area and because they are a fast-growing, short-lived fish they feed often. They die of old age around 5-6 years and attain a maximum weight of around 90lbs.
Dorado or Mahi Mahi can change the intensity of their colors which usually fades almost immediately after they are brought on board a boat.
Male Dorado or Mahi Mahi, often called “Bulls”, have a large distinctive flat forehead. They grow bigger than the females, which are called “Cows”. Most fish over 25lbs or so will be male. Dorado fishing is like a trip to the rodeo - hang on for the ride and prepare for some wild acrobatics.
Check out this short video of awesome action on Dorado, Marlin, and Tuna in Puerto Vallarta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXAbGeWEoWo
Around mid-July every year Dorado make their way into the warmer waters off Southern California and the Pacific Ocean comes alive with gamefish action, a seasonal rare treat for local angler's. Local sportfishing vessel's and private skiff's run trips targeting tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado and other big gamefish species. Usually boats "paddy hop", fishing loose kelp paddies or any other floating objects or trash in the water as these typically are holding Dorado. Signs of these areas holding Dorado and other gamefish usually have birds working the area feeding off bait balls (small bait fish that group into a large school in the shape of a ball) caused by bigger gamefish in a feeding frenzy. These are prime conditions for a shot at hooking a Dorado for the focus of this article but other gamefish as well including Yellowtail, Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi), Bluefin Tuna, Big Eye Tuna, Wahoo (Ono) or even a whopper Sun Fish.
Accurate Boss Conventional Fishing Reels are one of the most popular Southern California angler fishing reel picks for Tuna and Big Game fish - Search or browse for the new Boss Fury single star best price point reel!
The Accurate Boss Single Speed Boss Series X Single Speed or for turning bigger game fish the BX-2 Series. Both Accurate Boss 400x, 500x or 600x have huge 6:1 ratio great for popular Southern California - San Diego deep "Yo-Yo" technique where dropping deep and cranking in at blazing speeds trigger the Yellowtail bite. Spend the money for an Accurate or Avet one piece aluminum body work horse reels for San Diego game fish like we witnessed in 2015!
A favorite reel for local tuna and Yellowtail is Accurate Boss Valiant, a saltwater fishing reel every Southern California angler needs in their mix of tackle. Help support SportfishSanDiego.com if you buy one of these reels by making purchases from Amazon. I've searched and selected my local favorites for San Diego and SoCal sportfishing where diversity and several rod/reel combos come in handy when on a moments noticed you hook-up a 100#-200# class Bluefin Tuna show up at the side of the boat just five miles off San Diego as visiting and local San Diego, CA anglers have been blessed with this 2016 summer.
Big events happen fast and unforgiving when tuna fishing - the key is to be ready seconds after you hear the angler or deckhand yell hook-up! - If you can have multiple rod/reel fishing combos you can be ready for any change in conditions or fish target when that precious moment hits on troll when an angler yells, "HOOKUUUPPPP!" The boat then does what's called "slide" into nuetral and immediately the Captain calls out to the deckhand how much live bait to pitch to keep the tuna on the surface and biting angler lines who should already have a bait or jig in the water. The other scenario is "paddy-hopping" trolling tuna feathers or jigs while glassing (binoculurs) for loose or stranded kelp paddies along the way. For Dorado or Mahi-Mahi in Hawaii a floating cup or paper plate is all needed for a whole plethora of game fish to be lurking below waiting for a jig or bait to land close by. Timing and teamwork is essential in successfull this style of stand-up hook and line fishing Southern California pioneered. When the Captain calls out on com what size fish are being marked under the boat, the listening angler then picks up and casts the saltwater fishing rod/reel combo right for the bite. Having multiple setups all ready to go is awesome and can mean the difference between that bucket list 150# class Bluefin Tuna I mentioned earlier just five miles from San Diego ending up in proud pics and on the plate that night over a beer telling the story how glad you are you invested in all this top-quality saltwater fishing tackle this guy Rob at SportfishSanDiego.com suggested he get! lol jk of course again I just love helping fellow anglers land those hard to get once in a lifetime fish.
On the same 5am to 5pm offshore trip you can hook up a 20-30# class Yellowtail on the Yo-Yo Iron Jig, a bucket-list San Diego 2016! 150# Bluefin Tuna on a light Tady 45 surface iron, a 50# White Sea Bass or a 50# class Halibut on live squid or a personal favorite of mine (Rob Mailly Owner SportfishSanDiego.com), a old timer slow-growth lunker elusive Calico Bass while flippin' 3-6' plastics using either my Shimano Calcutta 400
or for lower price and unbelievable casting distance my Daiwa Sealine X SLH20! I sell all fishing tackle I mentioned here and truly part of my personal tackle (I chose fishing tackle over a snappy car and wife, lol jk of course) Here's the best deals on Amazon I found for the Boss Valiant BV-300, Daiwa Sealine Series, Avet and Shimano...I haven't left out the first and very best most trusted fishing reel ever made - Penn's Jigmaster 500. My father taught me as a little kid fishing local 3/4 day Coronado Island's trips to learn how to cast a conventional (bait casting) reel using a Penn Jigmaster 500 and a rent rod. He said "son if you can learn to cast a inexpensive old die-hard like a Penn 500, every saltwater fishing reel you cast from now on no matter how expensive and full of features will be a piece of cake and envy of other anglers. It's all about picturing a pendulum and not how hard you cast but proper technique that takes years to perfect for most. Also thumb pressure and controlling backlash which newer high-end saltwater fishing reels like Accurate and Avet have engineered into their respective products. That's another article I will cover.Accurate Boss Valiant BV-300 - Link to Buy Now at Amazon for a great deal at $399 w/free shipping
I love this old school reel! Although demands more frequent cleaning and maintenance, it's well worth the relatively good bang for the buck solid live bait or plastics flippin' reel I personally used my Calcutta 400. If you like throwing the plastics (plastic swim baits) this is a solid reel for the job and smooth as silk drag for burning Yellowtail.