Summer time offshore fishing here in Virginia Beach is a great time of year to target many of the more popular gamefish. But one such gamefish seems to stand out among the rest as the most beautiful, most prolific and one of the best tasting fish swimming within the deep blue. Any guesses? I’m talking about the highly prized dolphinfish aka dorado aka mahi-mahi. Regardless of what you call it, they are always taking center stage among charter captains off the beaches of Virginia.
Mahi-mahi is one of the most beautiful fish found off the coast of Virginia. Mahi-mahi, which means very strong in Hawaiian, has compressed bodies with a dorsal fin that extends almost the entire length of their body. Their tail is extremely forked which gives them incredible speed for either chasing down their meal or to avoid being a meal. Mature males have a protruding forehead, while the females have more of a rounded head.
They are also one of the few species of fish where the males are larger than the females. They are indeed a unique fish for sure, but it’s the mahi-mahi’s colors that really set them apart. The golden colors on their sides give way to their Spanish name, dorado, which means golden. They also have bright blues and greens on their sides and backs with their dorsal tail being a beautiful iridescent blue. Their colors will often times grow in intensity when excited, such as during a feeding frenzy.
They also go through a color transformation once taken from the water by going through several hues before finally fading into a muted yellow-grey after death. Be sure to get your pictures quickly before throwing them into the icebox.
Mahi-mahi can also be found in great numbers. They occupy the temperate, tropical and subtropical offshore waters throughout the world. Mahi-mahi is one of the fastest growing fish and lives a complete life in the span of 5 years with males growing up to 30+ pounds. Since they spawn within warm ocean currents throughout much of the year, their numbers are great. Females are known to spawn two to three times a year and laying 80,000 to 1,000,000 eggs each time!
Although larger fish tend to only swim in pairs, smaller fish can be found in massive schools near the surface congregated around floating debris. Once a school is located, it’s not uncommon for several mahi-mahi to be picked off resulting in non-stop fishing action.
Once hooked, mahi-mahi are fast, flashy and acrobatic. Very strong for their size, mahi-mahi makes for the ultimate gamefish among seasoned and novice anglers alike. And they’re great tasting to boot! Book a trip with Captain Josh Wentling here at Instigator Sportfishing Charters to get your fill of the mahi-mahi action that is taking place right now! Great for families or those corporate events!