Baja Dorado (Mahi Mahi) Migration - July Update

The fish is called mahi-mahi in the Hawaiian language, known widely as dorado. They are a delight for cooks and are a game fish that put up a acrobatic performance when caught. When hooked these fish "light up" with almost neon colors and put up an exciting, high jumping, tail walking fight.

They are also know as dolphin fish but are not related to the mammal. They are a blue-water, open ocean, highly migratory schooling fish, they can swim as fast as 50 knots,  found around the world in tropical and subtropical waters. The surface-dwelling fish can be at depths up to 85 metres, but more typically near 37 metres (121 ft).  They are attracted to seaweed or any kind of floating materials on the surface. If chumed near a seaweed paddy they can go into a feeding frenzy. Their curiosity also attracts their schools to boats, which often results in multiple hookups!

Dorado are among the fastest-growing fish living only 4-5 years. Weight averages 15 to 29 lbs. Larger fish Up to 80 pounds travel alone or in pairs. Males and females are sexually mature in their first year, usually by 4-5 months old. Spawning can occur at body lengths of 20 cm. Females may spawn two to three times per year, and produce between 80,000 and 1,000,000 eggs per event. They prefer a water temperature above 68 degrees, 78 - 85 is their preferred range.

Enviromentally they are listed by most organizations as "Eco-Best" for line and pole fishing. With the biggest enviromental concern being by-catch, (especially for commercial netting), of other fish while catching Dorado. Commercial fishing operations for Mahi Mahi in Baja have an unresolved problem of harming sea turtles.

Baja Bag Limits for dorado count the fish as 1/2 the daily limit, or count one dorado as 5 fish of a total of 10 fish. They are worth it.

Tips to Catch Dorado ...

July 2014

Out of San Diego, H&M landing's SeaAdventureSportfishing pulled in their first Dorado of the season, the location of the boat when the Dorado was pulled in is not reported, but as they sometimes go into Mexican waters it is fairly safe to assume the fish was caught towards the south. forums have dorado in Ensenada, Loreto, La Paz and the Cabos.

La Paz Dorado remain the catch of the day. with the dorado season being from July through October.

Cabos, has Mahi Mahi listed as the 2nd most abundant fish after Marlin.

June 2014

Loreto Mid June report is that Dorado are easy to catch out of Loreto with limits being hit and smaller fish being released.

La Paz continues to have a variety but Dorado are the Catch of the day with near limits being had by fishermen just within the La Paz Bay.

East Cape and the Cabos continues to provide good Dorado fishing, Hat tip

May 2014

San Quintin, May ends with water tempurates warming up on the pacific side of Baja, Dorado have now been spotted under kelp paddies out of Camalu just south of Ensenada - Hat Tip, May began with increased numbers of Yellowtail; Yellowtail fever has now arrived in Southern California waters. Tuna have also been seen. San Quintin ends May with a consistant catch of halibut at the mouth of the Bay, with water temps changing.

Loreto Dorado are the catch of the day with numerous boats reporting. Conditions are classic with Dorado stirring the bait fish near the surface.

San Jose via dorado continued to be found the catch in San Jose is a smorgasbord of fish which include wahoo, amberjack, bonito, cabrilla, yellowtail, roosterfish, huachinango, sierra, marlin and other species. 

La Paz catch of the day, continues to be a smorgasbord of fish, with people hitting of dorado, roosterfish, wahoo, etc. However, weather made conditions more difficult for fishermen on the first two week of May.

East Cape, May 21st  via “The dorado fishing was good early in the week with all anglers limiting, but the bite has slowed some the past few days,” As of this report  waters have warmed (11 miles outside the Lighthouse 80-degree water) and Tuna have shown up in larger numbers and people targeting marlin are being successful.

Cabo San Lucas is also seeing a smogasborg of fish which includes Mahi Mahi. Hat tip

April 2014

Mahi Mahi out of La Paz, continue to bite; The Yellowtail are also present ... it just may be that tides are playing a part in which fish will be caught.  Tortuga sportfishing is catching more dorado than yellowtail while Baja Pirates is catching more yellowtail than dorado. La Paz Catch of the Day. Seasonally the dorado show up in May. Forecasts for an El Nino in 2014 have been increasing. 

Jc Sportfishing out of Cabo Saint Louis, Reports, on several boats with everyone all boats catching 5 or 6 Dorado and a good number of Wahoo.

East Cape, seems to be nothing but excited about the fishing conditions on the East Cape, with Mahi Mahi being caught from the beach. The posts are brief, clearly fishing comes first.

March 2014

Dorado are out of La Paz, however the daily La Paz catch is still Yellowtail. The daily catch depends on the boat, Tortugas Sportfishing is having good luck with Mahi Mahi. La Paz catch through the month has been consistantly catching Mahi Mahi with little pressure, likely in reach of Kayaks.

On the Sea of Cortez side of the cabos has a multi source report of Mahi Mahi. With fewer Mahi Mahi on the Pacific side.

Feburary 2014

For people who want Mahi Mahi, bajafish has excited news for the end of Feburary out of the East Cape, 4 pangas went out fishing, before the fourth pangas even got out the 1st panga returned with 3 Dorados. They have moved fairly close to shore.

Most of the reports of Mahi Mahi have been mixed, with many boats targeting other species. Tuna still are being found in the Capos, the fleets around the lagoona switch to a fleet of whale watching boats during the whale migration season. San Quintin has yellowtail, which is in water cooler than the dorado prefer. March reports should give a better indication up and down the baja coast of where they dorado are, it can be presumed they are south of San Quintin.

January 2014

The Cabos are still seeing Stripped Marlin, which gets most of the attention, some cooling was noticed in December but with the Yellowtail are towards the north in early January. Hat Tip for Mahi Mahi updates last week of January to "The Dorado fishing has been decent up and around the Magrino to the Golden Gate and we are catching the fish by using ballyhoo and lures. Most of the fish we have caught this past week have been decent size fish to bigger Dorado." 

Whale watching season started in Janurary and goes through March as California Gray Whales use the lagoons as nurseries. Much of the fishing fleet turns into a whale watching fleet during this season, resulting in less fishing reports through the middle of Baja during these months. On the other hand with Bluefin and Yellowfin tuna having left because of slightly cooler waters the Dorado get more attention. is posting Dorado out of Magdalena Bay but does not have fish counts. Bahia Asuncion seems to have been spotty in January.

San Quentin and north have idea conditions for Yellowtail which like water a little bit cooler than the Dorado. El Nino posibilities will be out in about a week.

Magdalena Bay Whale Watching

Gray whales only use a portion of this Bay, they prefer shallow waters where Orca will not enter.

The baby whales in the lagoonas are curiosity about the whale watchers and mothers often bring them over to look at the whale watchers and to be petted by the people. There is no fishing inside the lagoons while the whales are using them as nurseries; nor any unauthorized boats.

September 2013

Loreto on the east coast of Baja still, (and likely throughout the summer months), hitting dorado - Via LaPamela. Fishing in the Cabos has been a year to remember, according to "The Pisces Fleet out of Cabo San Lucas continues toprovide anglers with one of the most constant experiences for marlin, as well as dorado, tuna and more. This past week every boat caught fish — a 100 percent catch rate." Aug 16th quote, “Dorado catches are definitely starting to climb, with 73 percent of our charters catching between 1 and 8 fish,” And from the cabos alone the west coast of baja and north into Southern California waters Dorados are being caught.

Another more detailed report from "Find Dorado around  Punta Colorada and San Bruno Reef, north of Loreto, these are the places at the Loreto National Park where we get the most captures of them, the weight from 8 to 12 pounds and some of over 15 and few of 30 pounders."

San Quintin via KM fishing (September 9th report), has Dorados, but Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna are getting more attention. The conditions are being reported as the water is "thick" with fish.

San Felipe / Loreto weather has been limiting fishing from the last week of August into the first week of September.

San Felipe hosted Tony Reyes who had a good trip to San Esteban Island 73 dorado were caught on the trip. Reported by Wownews 9-11-2013 just after Tropical Storm Lorena Fizzled.

July 2013

Loreto in the Sea Of Cortez is active approximately 10 miles East and South of the marina per and other sources. And Farther South going into August in La Paz All Coast has many discussions of Mahi Mahi out of La Paz. Marlin (swordfish) are also reported out of La Paz and south, which are more targeted than Dorado.  

San Felipe is waiting for Dorado to arrive via Tony Reyes - on A little farther south just over the line between North and South Baja. SANTA ROSALIA there are large numbers of dorado on break lines and sargasso islands. Most are still small but there are occasional reports of some bigger fish being caught and some were in the mid 20s which is a nice fish for the area.

Report from into August from Cabo San Lucas, July 27th to August 2nd, 2013 - "We are having a fantastic summer with billfish thick off of the Cabo coast. Once the moon waned we saw high marlin numbers come back for many boats. Best one day today was for Pisces Tracy Ann with twelve striped marlin released at Punta Gorda for Frank & Joseph Ianno from Staten Island, New York – that’s a lot of fish for two guys.... You know summer is here when you start to see the dorado numbers creep up and that’s what they did this week as fifty four percent of charters caught fish up to 50 lbs. Instead of the usual one or two fish, we saw boats catching four and five in a day, giving anglers some great fish to have cooked here or to take home. Our total dorado count was 69 fish."

The early hurricanes have pushed warm water up to Bahia Asuncion a month earlier than usual much to the delight of the kids who love to swim in the ocean and the fishermen. however the swell has reduced the numbers of vessels reporting through centeral baja.


San Lucas Cove Around May 13th, off Punta Chivato, hiding under a big Sargasso paddy, hundreds of schooling dorado Hat Tip