CORYPHAENIDAE FAMILY; also called dolphin, mahi mahi, goldmakrele, shiira.
Next to billfish, dorado are the #1 species targeted in the waters around Los Cabos.
Found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas, the dorado is pelagic, schooling, and highly migratory. Though occasionally caught from panga, it is basically a deep-water species, inhabiting the surface of the open ocean. The dorado is a 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 dorado is rich iridescent blue or blue green dorsally; gold, bluish gold, or silvery gold on the lower flanks; and silvery white or yellow on the belly. 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 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 (Bulls) have high, vertical foreheads, while the female's forehead is rounded. Males grow larger than females.
They are extremely fast swimmers and feed extensively on flying fish, sardines, mackerel and squid as well as on other small fish. They have a particular affinity for swimming beneath buoys, seaweed, logs, and floating objects of almost any kind.
Hooked dorado may leap or tailwalk, darting first in one direction, then another. It is believed that they can reach speeds up to 50 mph (80.5 kph) in short bursts. They are often caught on marlin rigs in Los Cabos which are too heavy for them to give much of a fight on. If the first dorado caught is kept in the water, it will usually hold the school, and often others will come near enough to be caught by casting a live bait to them. The livebait rods on most charter boats are typically 20-30lb test so that is a much better option for these worthy game fish. If you have one, take a light spinning rod with you and use this to cast to them and get yourself a real fight! Flyrods also work well for dorado and they can be caught on poppers or large flies once teased into the spread.
In addition to being a highly rated game fish, the dorado is a delicious food fish. It is illegal to sell these commercially in Los Cabos and it is also illegal to offer them for sale in restaurants. Sadly that law is widely ignored and they can be found on almost every menu in Cabo San Lucas.
Current Dorado All Tackle Record
87 lbs. 0 ounces.
Best time to catch Dorado in Cabo: available all year round but most abundant from summer through late fall.