From Zero to Hero: Master Mahi-Mahi Trolling with These Proven Lures

Team Cast & Conquer

A mahi-mahi fish
A mahi-mahi fish

Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphinfish or dorado, are known for their vibrant colors and acrobatic behavior. When trolling for mahi-mahi, using the right lures can significantly increase your chances of success.

Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the best mahi-mahi trolling lures then we’ll share our picks for the best dorado lures you should definitely have in your tackle box.

Key Characteristics of Mahi-mahi Trolling Lures

Vibrant Colors and Flashy Designs

When it comes to Mahi-mahi, it's a riot of color beneath the surface, and your lure should be the life of the underwater party. Optimal lures boast a spectrum of hues, imitating the diverse prey these dazzling fish pursue. Incorporating reflective elements adds a touch of sophistication, as flashes of light mimic the shimmering scales of mahi-mahi’s favorite snacks.

Versatility in Presentation

Mahi-mahi are known for their unpredictable behavior, and a successful angler adapts to their whims. Trolling lures with adaptable swimming actions are key; the ability to mimic wounded prey or agile baitfish increases the chances of enticing a strike. Moreover, having options for different trolling speeds ensures you stay one step ahead, whether the mahi are feeling lethargic or aggressively on the hunt.

Durability and Quality Construction

Offshore conditions demand lures that can withstand the rigors of the open sea. Choosing lures constructed from robust materials ensures longevity and resilience. Look for features such as reinforced joints and durable finishes, as these elements contribute to the overall effectiveness and lifespan of the lure, giving you an edge on the water.

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Our Picks for the 8 Best Mahi-Mahi Trolling Lures

Dorado Jet Head Lures:

These lures often feature a colorful skirt with a jet head design that creates a bubble trail and attracts mahi-mahi. The bright colors mimic the small baitfish that mahi-mahi feed on, making them an effective choice.

Our Pick: Ocean Cat Trolling Lure Set
Ocean Cat Trolling Lure SetOcean Cat Trolling Lure Set

Feather Lures:

Feather lures, also known as feather skirts or trolling feathers, are simple yet effective. They typically consist of a series of colorful feathers or synthetic materials arranged to resemble a small school of fish. They can be trolled at various speeds and are known for their versatility.

Our Pick: Krazywolf Bullet Squid Feather Jigs
Krazywolf Bullet Squid Feather JigsKrazywolf Bullet Squid Feather Jigs

Soft Plastic Lures:

Soft plastic lures, such as rubber skirts or squids, are another excellent choice for mahi-mahi. The lifelike action and appearance of these lures can trigger strikes from curious mahi-mahi. Rig them with a hook or as part of a daisy chain (see below) for added attraction.

Our Pick: ChaseBaits Ultimate Squid Fishing Lure
ChaseBaits Ultimate Squid Fishing LureChaseBaits Ultimate Squid Fishing Lure

Cedar Plugs:

Cedar plugs are classic trolling lures that have been used for decades. These wooden lures have a simple design but can be very effective for mahi-mahi. They are typically trolled behind the boat and mimic the swimming action of a wounded baitfish.

Our Pick: Arcadia Tackle Pre-Rigged Cedar Plugs
Arcadia Lures Pre-Rigged Cedar PlugsArcadia Lures Pre-Rigged Cedar Plugs

Daisy Chains:

Daisy chains consist of a series of small lures or teasers arranged in a line. The combination of multiple lures can create the illusion of a larger school of baitfish, attracting mahi-mahi from a distance. Some daisy chains feature a mix of soft plastics, feathers, and other materials for added appeal.

Our Pick: Capt. Jay Fishing Daisy Chain
Capt. Jay Fishing Daisy ChainCapt. Jay Fishing Daisy Chain

Chugger Lures:

Chugger lures have a concave or cupped face that creates a popping or splashing action when trolled. This commotion on the water's surface can attract mahi-mahi, especially when they are in an aggressive feeding mood. The popping sound and bubble trail generated by chugger lures make them enticing to these fish.

Our Pick: Bimini Lures Big Game Chugger
Bimini Lures Big Game ChuggerBimini Lures Big Game Chugger

Surface Wahoo Lures:

While designed for wahoo, some surface lures that dive just below the water's surface can also be effective for mahi-mahi. These lures often have a sleek design and can be trolled at higher speeds. The quick movements and flashy colors can trigger strikes from mahi-mahi, which are known for their fast and aggressive feeding behavior.

Our Pick: MagBay Lures Big Mama
MagBay Big Mama Trolling LureMagBay Big Mama Trolling Lure

Tuna Feathers:

Tuna feathers, or feathered trolling jigs, are traditionally used for targeting tuna but can also attract mahi-mahi. These lures typically consist of a lead head, a series of feathers, and sometimes a shiny mylar or holographic material. Tuna feathers have a lifelike swimming action and can be trolled at different depths to target mahi-mahi at various levels in the water column.

Our Pick: MagBay Premier Tuna Feather Lure
MagBay Premier Tuna Feather LureMagBay Premier Tuna Feather Lure

Remember to experiment with different colors and sizes to find out what the mahi-mahi in your area are most responsive to. Additionally, maintaining a variety of lures in your trolling spread can increase your chances of success, as mahi-mahi preferences can vary depending on factors such as water conditions and the presence of other marine life.

Also, the Blackfin Rods #88 is one of the best trolling rods for mahi-mahi.