This colorful and acrobatic fish is a favorite game fish all over the world. While small dorados can be found in-shore around islands pinacles, the big, hard-fighting bulls are found off-shore. Once hooked, high leaps and lengthy tail walks are a common sight. A colorful and delicious fish, landing a dorado is a bonus because you get a great fight and even better meal out of it.
DESCRIPTION: Found all over the world, it also is commonly referred to as dolphinfish and mahi mahi. The dorado is unique for both its shape and its stunning colors, which can range from all sorts of shades of gold, blue, green. They also have spots along their sides, which also vary in color and size. When removed from the water they seem to lose all color and turn an iridescent blue, then after death they become more consistently yellow.
FEEDING HABITS: They mainly feed on small pelagic species like flying fish and squid, but are known to feed on nearly any small fish. Dorados are commonly found in garbage flows and current lines, hiding in masse underneath floating tree, garbage, or anything else they can use as cover. Unlike billfish that swim into your spread from behind, dorado almost always seem to attack the spread from the sides.
SIZE: Most dorado are in the 10-30 lb range, though big dorado in the 50-60 lb range are quite common as well. The world record dorado, an 87 pounder caught in 1976, was actually caught here in Costa Rica. Unlike many other species, with dorado the males (bulls) are the largest.
WHERE FOUND IN COSTA RICA: Dorado are found all over Costa Rica – up and down the coast and in both oceans. It is possible to catch smaller dorado near islands or pinnacles in-shore, but it is more commonly an off-shore pelagic fish. They can be caught while trolling for billfish, but they can also be targeted by finding a current or garbage flow and trolling around floating debris.
BEST MONTHS: Dorado are caught all year round in Costa Rica. Typically when the dorado show up in large numbers the billfish are right behind them. Big dorado are caught when the billfish bite is best, but smaller dorados to the tune of 40-50 per day can be caught in our green season months from May-August.