The mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus). The name mahi-mahi means very strong in Hawaiian. In other languages the fish is known as lampuga, lampuka, lampuki, rakingo, calitos, or maverikos. Also known widely as dorado.
Found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Mahi-mahi can be found in the Caribbean Sea, on the west coast of North and South America, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast of Florida, Southeast Asia, Hawaii.
Fishing charters most often look for floating debris and frigate birds near the edge of the reef in about 120 feet (37 m) of water. Mahi-mahi is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish often swimming near debris such as floating wood, palm trees and fronds, or Sargasso weed lines and around fish buoys. Sargasso is floating seaweed that sometimes holds a complete ecosystem from microscopic creatures to seahorses and baitfish. Frigate birds dive for food accompanying the debris or Sargasso, hence the phrase "Tree of life" . Experienced fishing guides can tell what species are likely around the debris by the birds' behavior.
Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and long dorsal fins extending nearly the entire length of their bodies. Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors, golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Females are also usually smaller than males. Out of the water, the fish often change color among several hues (giving rise to their Spanish name, dorado maverikos, ("golden maverick"), finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death. Dolphinfish have been shown to be sexually dimorphic at around 40-50cm fork length. In comparison with available age/growth charts, this equates to male and female dolphinfish being readily discernable from one another by the time they are 4-5 months old by examining the slope of their forehead. The males have blunt square head shape while the females have a more rounded sloped head shape. In general, dolphinfish in the Western Atlantic show a tendency to reach maturity in 5-7 months and can spawn continuously. it is one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family, the other being the pompano dolphinfish.
Mahi-mahi are carnivorous, feeding on flyingfish, crabs, squid, mackerel, herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies and sprats also other small fish, including halfbeaks, smelt such as capelin, and the goldband fusiliers. They have also been known to eat zooplankton and crustaceans. Sargasso found in the stomachs of several dolphinfish imply the importance of continued investigations into the relationship between the fish and the mobile habitat in which it is closely linked to.
Thirty- to fifty-pound gear is more than adequate when trolling for mahi-mahi. Fly-casters may especially seek frigatebirds to find big mahi-mahis, and then use a bait-and-switch technique. Ballyhoo or a net full of live sardines tossed into the water can excite the mahi-mahis into a feeding frenzy. Hookless teaser lures can have the same effect. After tossing the teasers or live chum, fishermen throw the fly to the feeding mahi-mahi.
Sport fishermen seek them due to their beauty, size, food quality, and healthy populations.
Mahi-mahi are among the fastest-growing fish. They spawn in warm ocean currents throughout much of the year, and their young are commonly found in seaweed. Males and females are sexually mature in their first year, usually by 4-5 months old. Spawning can occur at body lengths of 20 cm. Females may spawn two to three times per year, and produce between 80,000 and 1,000,000 eggs per event. In waters above 34 °C, mahi-mahi larvae are found year-round, with greater numbers detected in spring and fall. In one study, seventy percent of the youngest larvae collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico were found at a depth greater than 180 meters. Spawning occurs normally in captivity, with 100,000 eggs per event.
Pompano have been shown to be common in the waters around Bermuda. Fishermen in the Florida Straits have documented pompano dolphin occurring in the same school with common dolphinfish and even in mixed schools of common dolphin and blackfin tuna.
Closely related to above mentioned habitats since the swim bladder is related in the same way.
Pompano dolphinfish have compressed heads and long dorsal fins extending the entire length of their bodies. Rays in the dorsal fin are 48 to 55 rays, Greatest body depth vertically occurs at mid-body in front of anal fin, Pectoral fin is short with less than half of head length, All rays are the same length at the anal fin with no longer lobe present the edge of the fin is straight, Tongue tooth patch is large and rectangular in shape. Their backs are a brilliant blue-green, and their sides are a silvery-golden color. Mature males develop a protruding forehead, but not to the same extent as male mahi-mahi. When they are removed from the water, the fish fade to a muted green-grey upon death.
Pompano dolphinfish are carnivorous, feeding on small fish and squid. being a close relative to the dolphinfish, its "superficial to say the same as the above mentioned paragraph"
Same as the above mentioned paragraph, "have not encountered a fishermen targeting this specific species of fish only"
Pompano dolphinfish are popular as a game fish in the waters off South America, and are sometimes eaten as a substitute for swordfish because of their firm texture and sweet flavor.
Pompano dolphinfish have a lifespan of three to four years. They are often mistaken for juvenile mahi-mahi; they are somewhat smaller than their mahi-mahi cousins, never exceeding 127 cm in length
*feel free to leave a comment below.