Dorado or Mahi or Dolphinfish are considered by many anglers to be the ultimate sports fish, the package deal if you will. The fish is relatively easy to locate and often travels in large schools; requires little skill to target, as it hits most trolled lures; is an excellent fighter providing lots of acrobatics and spectacular runs; you can catch them on relatively light tackle and even flies; and it’s delicious eating no matter how it’s prepared. Because of its eagerness to hit about any lure or bait, the Dorado has been dubbed the "Dodo" by many experienced anglers. Dorado are an absolutely spectacularly colored fish while in the water, but fade to non- descript brown and grays when dead. In life, they can be electric blue to green along their backs with brilliant yellow or golden bodies with blue and green spots throughout. Seeing a school of these fish feeding and excited around your boat is a treat in itself. Their bodies are long and compressed with a forked tail. Males or “Bulls” have a unique blunt square head, unlike any other fish and grow considerably larger than the female. An average bull would be 20 to 30 pounds with anything over 50 pounds being large. The largest I have personally caught was 66 pounds but I’ve seen larger ones. The head of the female is more typically rounded and a 10 to 20 Pounder would be considered average with a 30 pounder being large and a 40 pounder huge.
Most anglers targeting Dorado will catch them while trolling, or at least start their day out that way. Assorted Tuna feathers and plastic trolling lures are preferred. In fact, I don't know even one experienced angler who blind trolls live or dead bait for them. Just about any trolling lure in assorted colors will work for these fish. The size of the chosen lure, though, should be in direct correlation to the size of fish you are targeting. When the fish are smallish, say 5 to 15 pounders, 5" Tuna feathers will suffice. Use 10" skirted trolling lures for fish in the 15 to 30 pound range and 12" ones for the 30 to 40 pounders. When targeting the large bulls, use only large straight running 14" lures, like what you’d use for Black/Blue Marlin. Dorado can be found just about anywhere. They are caught well offshore, 30, 40, 50 miles out and even right along the shoreline. Schooling Dorado are found everywhere while blind-fishing for anything, but if you’re specifically looking for them, look for debris lines near river mouths and current and temperature changes. Of course stop at any floating debris larger than a foot in circumference and have a looky loo or troll-by.
For more info on the Dorado/Mahi/Dolphinfish and other fish species, order my book "Fishing ... Mexican Style".