mahi mahi, dorado
Found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas,
the dolphin is pelagic, schooling, and migratory. Though occasionally
caught from an ocean pier, it is basically a deep water species, inhabiting
the surface of the open ocean.
The dolphin is an extremely distinctive
fish, both for its shape and its colors. Though it is among the most colorful
fish in the sea, the colors are quite variable and defy an accurate, simple
description. Generally, when the fish is alive in the water, the dolphin
is rich iridescent blue or blue-peen dorsally; gold, bluish gold, or silvery
gold on the lower flanks; and silvery white or yellow on the belly.
The deepest part of the albacore's body is near the second dorsal fin,
rather than near the middle of the first dorsal fin as in other tunas,
and the vent is round rather than oval or teardrop shape The fins are
dark yellowish, except for the white trailing edge of the tail.
The sides are sprinkled with a mixture of dark and light spots, ranging
from black or blue to golden. The dorsal fin is rich blue, and the anal
fin is golden or silvery. The other fins are generally golden yellow,
edged with blue. When the dolphin is removed from the water, the colors
fluctuate between blue, green, and yellow.
After death the fish usually turns uniformly yellow or silvery gray. Large
males have high, vertical foreheads, while the female's forehead is rounded.
Males grow larger than females. There are no spines in any of the fins.
Dolphins are extremely fast swimmers and feed extensively on flying fish
and squid as well as on other small fish. It is believed that they can
reach speeds up to 50 mph (80.5 kph) in short busts.
Successful fishing methods include trolling surface baits (flying fish,
mullet, balao, squid, strip baits) or artificial lures; also live bait
fishing or casting. If the first dolphin caught is kept in the water,
it will usually hold the school, and often others will come near enough
to be caught by casting.