A big mahi
A big mahi

about as big as they get These were caught at Pt STEPHENS NSW on Broadbill
about as big as they get These were caught at Pt STEPHENS NSW on Broadbill

DOLPHIN FISH (MAHI MAHI) By Captain Ross Hunter

As a charter Captain of too many years I have not met many anglers who don't enjoy a session on the dolphin fish, many times after a fruitless marlin expedition they have saved our bacon.

They are great fun on light spin-cast gear or similar, once hooked they are amazing air dwellers as they clear the oceans surface time and time again, much to the joys of the anglers.

Visual fish like these will bring squeals of "Yeh! Did you see that" from even the most experienced angler, as time and time again they jump metres into the air

Dolphin fish are one of the fastest growing fish in the ocean. I recall many years ago, tagging a heap of them on a FAD off Sydney for NSW fisheries, all season we went back to that FAD which we had personally put in.so not a lot of others new about it .

At the start of the season the fish were around 2 kg at the end of the season the fish could be seen swimming at the back of BROADBILL with their bright yellow tags having grown to 6 to 8 kg and that's in a period of 6 months.

As an eating fish they are 4 star rated it is almost impossible for the worst chef to bugger up a dolphin fish.

Dolphin fish or Mahi Mahi are caught in our Sydney waters from the start of summer thru to around August (depending on oceanic temps)

I have seen seasons where we have caught them right thru winter as well, however that year the temps. remained around 21 degrees all season so the dollies stayed with us.



Because they frequent flotsam, such floating objects as tree branches, logs etc..These items, if found on the ocean are "walk up starts" for dolphin fish.

They use such floaters as their security blankets. Fads too (Fish Aggregation Devices) are popular with these species They set up their whole community around such items all season Trolling baits such as garfish, squid or live yellowtail and slimies is dynamite especially around FADS


We prefer light gear say 6kg spin cast rods or similar.


Another favourite, once a log or a Fad is worked is to cast small live baits into the zone. The dollies just cannot resist these morsels and will be seen shouldering each other out of the way to get to the bait first.



Another technique is cubing with pilchards around an area such as a FAD this will work well, with the fish taking up residence at the back of your boat in the berley trail.

I have, however seen times when a popular Fad has been worked over by a dozen other boats before you arrive and the fish are wise to the whole scene and will not bite. In this case the live baits area must.

At our annual trips to Pt Stephens we often put in a FAD or two and give the dollies a touch up on the way home from the marlin grounds ( see www.gamefishingcharters.com.au) visit Fishing Reports and

Fishing Adventures Sections


I love to eat them whole. This way we simply cutlet them across the backbone, wrap in foil, with garlic, chilli a drizzle of olive oil, tomatoes cut fine and onions then baked in the oven.

If, however it is boneless fish you prefer then skin and fillet, then add a little corn flower to a plastic bag, jiggle fillets in bag until cornflower covers, then dip in egg whipped a little red curry, then roll in lightly in bread crumbs.

Then cook in a pan with a drizzle of grape-seed or peanut oil .Yeh! Gotta go I'm hungry

About The Author: Ross Hunter

Company: Ross Hunter's gamefishingcharters p/l

Area Reporting: sydney

Bio: Father and son Captains Ross and Glenn Hunter operate their most respected gamefishing vessels Billfisher and Broadbill out of Sydney and Pt Stephens (approx 100 nm north of Sydney)They have been professional skippers for 20 years and have pretty much caught or hold records for most gamefish caught in our waters. The species are blue, black and striped marlin, spearfish,wahoo, mahis then in winter gut busting yellowfin, bluefin and makos.Some of their achievements can be viewed on their excellent web site www.gamefishingcharters.com.au They specialize in marlin in the summer and yellowfin in the winter. Catches of up to 21 marlin in a day have been recorded.

02 9534 2378
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Fishing Guide Ross Hunter