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Mahi on Fly

1045 Views 22 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Drifter
Hey y'all,
So around mid-May, me and a group of friends will be in the Keys for my bachelor party and the plan is to rent a boat and go out to some deeper water for a day. Curious as to what size rods you'd recommend having on board. Would an 8wt and 11wt suffice for both the little guys and the bigger guys? Recommended leader setups? What flies do y'all recommend for mahi?

Any and all information are much appreciated!
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Hey y'all,
So around mid-May, me and a group of friends will be in the Keys for my bachelor party and the plan is to rent a boat and go out to some deeper water for a day. Curious as to what size rods you'd recommend having on board. Would an 8wt and 11wt suffice for both the little guys and the bigger guys? Recommended leader setups? What flies do y'all recommend for mahi?

Any and all information are much appreciated!
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8 and 11 will work. I'd go w 10 on the upper end but if you have an 11 youll be ok

Standard 9 foot leader when I do it. Could be shorter, mahi don't care. They are about as reckless as jacks. Could use a 1 ft leader most days. I use 30 lb flouro shock tippet. Streamers are good - baitfish patterns like deceivers, ep mullet, etc. White is always good, other bright colors also work. Poppers are the most fun, of course.
 

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I dont fly fish but have caught mahi on fly. They will hit anything when hungry. I'd use a brightly colored streamer. I was using a 7 wt for small schoolies you'd probably want the 10/11 for larger "schoolies".
 

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We've bumped into them out in the gulf while Red Snapper fishing, I always bring the 10wt, pretty standard 10-12ft leader, 25-40lb shock tippet, white/pink/chartreuse/flashy flies in any combination work fine. They can get kinda smart to it after a few fish so keep chucking some chunk baits out while they're around to keep em hungry. I'd say nothing less than 10wt incase a cobia, AJ or big Yellow Jack shows up
 

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I once read about how cannibalistic mahi are and therefore I tied Green/Yellow Clousers in anticipation of my one and only offshore fly fishing trip. I did quite well with the green and yellow clousers, but I'm not sure color would have actually mattered. I think it's harder to find the mahi themselves than to find a fly that they will eat.
 

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Depends on size of fish we see a decent bit of them here in the northern gulf but don’t run into a lot of big ones. For smaller sub 10 lb fish 6-8wt works. Over 10 lbs yeah you prolly want a bigger rod but and 8 will work until you get to really big ones.

Some days their super picky some days not so much. For sub 10lb fish small brown shrimpy patterns(size 4-8) for around weed patches. Small white and tan gurglers. Some bigger flies 2-4”. Something shiny like a foil minnow or kreelex type fly. Some chartreuse as well.

Usually got super leader shy.
 

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I'll bet you can get away with just the 8wt. The 11 seems like overkill
I haven't fly fished for them yet but generally use the brightest lures I can find when I have fished for them...it seems that would be a good way to go on fly too.
 

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When we find structure that is holding them, we usually throw a live bait on spin rod 1st. Once that 1st fish is on, we leave him hooked up and everyone with fly rods starts casting as they come out following the 1st fish. Then we get double and triple hook ups. Like everyone said, between 7 & 9 wt is the way to go, but a 10 is nice if you get a big bull on (30-40 pounder) Broke my brand new T&T 8wt on the the 1st fish I caught on it, and it was a Mahi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I once read about how cannibalistic mahi are and therefore I tied Green/Yellow Clousers in anticipation of my one and only offshore fly fishing trip. I did quite well with the green and yellow clousers, but I'm not sure color would have actually mattered. I think it's harder to find the mahi themselves than to find a fly that they will eat.
On the clousers you were tying in said color, did you opt for beadchain or small lead eyes?
 

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Caught a nice cow on a squid fly in the Sea of Cortez. As others have said, if around structure/flotsam, they aren't too picky. Another trick to keep them close to the boat is use the raw water wash down and spray across the water. Apparently they think it's rain minnows and that fires 'em up again.
 

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We've bumped into them out in the gulf while Red Snapper fishing, I always bring the 10wt, pretty standard 10-12ft leader, 25-40lb shock tippet, white/pink/chartreuse/flashy flies in any combination work fine. They can get kinda smart to it after a few fish so keep chucking some chunk baits out while they're around to keep em hungry. I'd say nothing less than 10wt incase a cobia, AJ or big Yellow Jack shows up
Not too sure I would be throwing at an AJ if they show up, especially with a 10wt. Did it once on my 10, regretted almost every minute of the hour and a half. Clousers will work well, as will white and flashy flies. No need to go too big on the fly the school are typically feeding on small 1-2 inch fish off of the sargasso.
 

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A few thoughts about offshore with a fly... Yes, light rods are fine for small schoolies and they're a fine introduciton... Generally though, offshore, I figure a 10wt is a very light stick if anything with shoulders is around... Popping bugs and any baitfish flies will do for dolphin. Try to be prepared though for something bigger to show up when you least expect it... Me, I'd have both a 10 and a 12wt aboard...

Lastly here's a trick to try when the action slows down - or you just can't seem to get them to commit... When a fish comes to your fly and doesn't take, snatch it away and re-cast it to that same fish or area. Do that a time or two and when they get turned on - make one last cast and get bit after you've teased them a bit...
 

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maverick hp bt elite chittum chanllenger
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most dolphin are small any more, but i'd never write off a stud coming through. 10 wt straight 50lb and a big blue and white baitfish. id use an ahrex280 1/0. Check out poonjab305 's (on Instagram) flies from his sailfish trip. tons of youtube videos on those. or i can tie you some up if you need
 
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