Fly Fishing for Mahi
August is typically the tail end of our mahi mahi season down here in the Florida Keys. It is also the beginning of some good blackfin tuna fishing. On top of that, the mangrove snapper spawn and can be caught from the patch reefs to the edge of the reef.
Some of the biggest mangrove snapper are caught this time of year - during the day as well as as in the night. We like to use live pilchards, live pinfish or cut ballyhoo to catch them so it’s always good to be the first one out there on the bait patch.
At this point in the season, you must be so tired of hearing about mahi mahi fishing (or maybe not!), but this month we have a new twist on it. We have had several fly fishermen this year who have decided to go out there and catch them on fly.
First of all I must say that this year we were fortunate enough to have had a very plentiful mahi season. This made it easier for fly fishermen because fly fishing is harder than regular fishing. You are not slinging them in the boat with heavy gear and it is definitely a little more challenging.
Our customers usually bring their own fly rods as fly gear can be pretty expensive and I’m not stocked up on it.
While fishing, I am in charge of teasing up the fish. For this, I take the hooks off of my rods and then I wire ballyhoo on with rigging wire - something that I can cast out and tease the mahi up to the boat so that my clients can cast their fly rods. Another method is to take glass minnows or chunks of squid that I scatter near the surface, so that the mahi will come close to the boat and we can easily cast our fly rod.
When we hook the fish, it’s a fun fight. They are on very light lines and rods which means it’s challenging. Plus they are eating a fly which is an artificial bait and not the natural bait mahis prefer. It takes skill to cast a fly rod with enough distance and accuracy, as well as to strip it at the right speed. These anglers take it very seriously and I enjoy fishing with them because I feel like most of them really enjoy the sport of fishing and not just trying to kill everything. I appreciate their enthusiasm and patience to catch a fish on the fly.
Mahi mahi are a great fish to start fly fishing on. You get a lot more chances to catch them because they are so plentiful and are aggressive eaters. So if you are interested in fly fishing and want to go, give me a call!
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