How to Troll For Mahi

How to Troll For Mahi

May 09, 2023

Saltwater trolling is a well known fishing method to most anglers all over the world. There are many different types of trolling from kingfish, mahi, marlin, wahoo, and many more. Depending on which type of fish category you are going after will determine how you troll but in this blog I want to dive deep into mahi-mahi trolling. Mahi are one of the most aggressive fish out in the ocean and will bite on just about anything you put in its face, especially a trolling lure designed for mahi. There are a couple ways to help get even more mahi to bite and we will cover those methods.


The most common way of trolling for mahi is using ballyhoo with a lure/skirt covering the ballyhoo. The lure will cause a commotion attracting the mahi to the ballyhoo and once they see the baitfish they cant resist. To rig a ballyhoo you need 150 lb monofilament leader line, size 8/0 hook, and a trolling lure which will all go together to make your rig. Then you connect your rig to a ball bearing swivel connected onto your main fishing line. Once you have rigged the ballyhoo all up you are ready to start trolling.

Trolling Method

Everyone likes to troll differently but the basics that most people stick to are pretty simple. You want to troll around 7 knots with multiple rigs in the water. Most people like to fish 5-7 rods while going for mahi so you have a better chance of catching these pelagic fish. To make life easier you will connect 2 lines on each outrigger so you are pulling 4 lines out to the side of the boat. That then leaves you with room to run a couple rods straight out the back or just a shotgun rod. Now that we have the methods covered, a huge factor in being successful is location.


Mahi are known for being in the gulf stream off of the coast especially on the east coast In the United States. The edge of the gulf stream where the north flowing stream meets the normal ocean creates an edge/rip in the water that on most days is visible to the eye or you can tell by a temperature change in the water. This is where you will find loads of mahi during the right season. As well as weed lines form on this edge and the mahi will hide under this on a sunny day to seek shade. Sometimes you will even be lucky enough to find an object floating around way offshore and mahi will gather around this. These are the best spots to find a lot of mahi.  Mahi is a highly migratory fish meaning they travel all along the east coast when the water temperature gets too hot they begin to push up north.


Lastly, one of the most important factors in catching mahi is fishing for them at the right time of year for your location. In April of every year these mahi start in the keys of Florida and the water temperature pushes them to start heading northwards. They start working their way up along the coast. These mahi on the Atlantic ocean will head along the coast all the way up to New Jersey. This gives you the chance to catch mahi all along the coast. Spring to mid-summer is the best season of the year to catch these amazingly aggressive mahi. After all this is said it takes time to get mahi catching down pat but the only way to get good is to go give it a shot.

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