big island fishing

What is the Mahi Mahi?

Fishing experts and those common with the marine life in Hawaii are familiar with them, and anyone who has done shopping in a grocery store has likely seen it for sale, but what exactly is the Mahi Mahi? Yes, it is a fish, but there is often confusion about the species and the name of the fish, so we’re here to help better understand.

The male Mahi Mahi is an odd looking fish, with a flat face and fin that runs down its entire spine. Naturally colorful, it is actually very striking when the colors are seen close up, and easily when seen in the water. Some of the confusion around the fish comes from its common name of Dolphinfish, though these fish are not dolphin, because they are not mammals, and are therefore just another species of tropical fish that are common in Hawaiian waters.

In Hawaiian, the word Mahi means “strong”, though it is unclear of the reason for the repetition of the word. Oceanic experts consider Mahi to be the rabbits of the ocean because they grow incredibly fast. Full-grown fish can grow to about 70 pounds, at lengths of just over 4 feet, and in captivity, they have been observed to grow more than 40 pounds in a year. Their diet consists of smaller fish, with their preference being the Flying Fish.

The meat of the fish is highly versatile, and is terrific as an appetizer, or as the star of a main course. Because they reproduce rather quickly, the peak summer months for catching Mahi can be very fruitful for local fishing boats. This helps to keep the fish in high supply, and able to be enjoyed for many months of the year. One of the best methods for enjoying Mahi is as a fish taco, the firm meat providing the perfect filling.

When heading out on Hawaiian Fishing Charter, there is a high likelihood that a Mahi Mahi will at least be spotted. These fish are very common in Hawaii, and especially of Maui’s coast, there is a good chance of catching one. Once you’ve battled a Mahi Mahi and reeled one in, you’ll see the brilliance of their coloring and may even understand why they are called Mahi Mahi, and not just Mahi.

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