Dolphinfish/Mahi-Mahi: Coryphaena hippurus

Florida Regulations:  

RegulationsGulf State WatersAtlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit  None  20” fork length
Daily Bag Limit 10 per person or 60 per vessel whichever is less 


Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, spearing

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Dolphinfish, commonly known as Mahi-Mahi, is a pelagic, off-shore species that prefers warm waters (above 68 degrees) and water depths greater than 80 feet. Adults eat bait fish, flying fish, squid and crabs. Like many other pelagic species, dolphin are attracted to floating objects and are commonly found in association with floating mats of sargassum. Dolphin are fast swimmers and extremely fast growers reaching nearly three feet in length in their first year of life. Large, solitary dolphin are commonly caught while trolling natural baits such as rigged ballyhoo or cigar minnows, but they can also be caught on live bait, cut bait, artificial lures, jigs or spoons. The tackle used to catch dolphin ranges from light spinning tackle for smaller schooling dolphin, to heavy trolling equipment. Chumming with cut bait or leaving a hooked fish in the water can keep schooling fish near the boat for multiple hookups. Dolphin is undoubtedly one of Florida’s most beautiful marine species and a favorite seafood item for many people.

State Record:

81 lb, caught near Lantana, Florida

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Image Credit:Diane Rome Peebles


FWC Facts:
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