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Mahi this year

I think that we can all agree that the mahi fishing has been a bit off this year compared to last. I'm wondering if anyone has any theories as to why. One guy that I spoke to said that a huge fleet of high end Guatemalan sportfish boats set up shop off of Cuba this year & cleaned them out before they got to us. That was his theory. I've noticed that weed patches have been few, far between, & small this year. I'm thinking that may have something to do with it. Does anyone else have any other theories to share?

Thanks,
Jim
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Replies

  • KaimanaKaimana Posts: 245 Deckhand
    I can hardly remember the last time I caught a mahi. I agree that weed lines have been very limited so I think that contributes to it. Also, sea surface temps this year in the Atlantic have been very high - maybe they just haven't needed to migrate as far south.
  • Angler ManagemntAngler Managemnt Posts: 1,077 Officer
    There's Also been a change in currents and it had a major negative effect on the Sargasso Sea. I think they are not migrating here like they used to.
  • FISHHUNTRFISHHUNTR Posts: 1,286 Officer
    I haven't seen fishery yet that's been the same consistently year to year.. seems every specie has "that" year where its really off the chain good followed by some years of mediocrity
    "FISHUNTR"- 2012 20' Pathfinder, Yamaha F150, HDS gen 3 9T
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    Now that you guys mention those details...

    Mahi is off, but skipjack is excellent this year.
  • zzzzzzsplashzzzzzzsplash Posts: 499 Deckhand
    I agree with the changes in ocean currents and heightened ocean temps, hopefully that's more cyclical than longer term climate change. I'll throw out one more idea...
    2007-2008 the economy crashed, everybody from weekend warriors to commercial interests felt the financial hit, and many realized boating is a luxury. For me during those following years I felt like I had the water to myself some days and there was consistent, occasionally epic mahi fishing. Now 70+ months of US job growth and a housing rebound later, coastal populations have surged and it seems like everybody has a boat and set of rods. The water is busier than ever, and guys are running further offshore from FL to SC to NJ. Also keep in mind that some states don't have the same regulations as FL, for instance NC has no minimum size limit on mahi and you can find photos of head boats there with a daily catch of 60 fish that might be 18". A factor could be increased pressure on the entire fishery....
  • JWPBJWPB Posts: 262 Deckhand
    I've caught them when I find weed, so think its the currents more than lack of fish. They also seemed to be catching all summer off of SLI just not as much near LWI this year.
    Jupiter 29FS
  • area52area52 Posts: 519 Officer
    Every game fish species have cycles, Dolphin are no different. There was one bad season in the last six or seven. Don't panic.
  • Flight RiskFlight Risk Posts: 2,491 Captain
    area52 wrote: »
    Every game fish species have cycles, Dolphin are no different. There was one bad season in the last six or seven. Don't panic.
    :Agree
    :thumbsup
    Sounds reasonable to me.

    Pura Vida!
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    Rginn1111 wrote: »

    Oooff. I didn't realize that the numbers were like that.
  • Rginn1111Rginn1111 Posts: 37 Deckhand
    The keys seem to be hit the hardest!!
  • pretenderpretender Posts: 148 Deckhand
    Rginn1111 wrote: »

    1 bad year in the last 5. It happens. And the commercial guys do have a quota, it was met this year
  • Reel MullarkeyReel Mullarkey Posts: 1,873 Captain
    We are going to see some new regulations soon, unfortunately the new regulations will target the recreational anglers. Commercial over fishing is a big problem. I think the species will recover. We saw tons of tiny to small mahi yesterday. Hopefully they will hang out until they get bigger.
    Jonathan Mullarkey's
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  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 868 Officer
    area52 wrote: »
    Every game fish species have cycles, Dolphin are no different. There was one bad season in the last six or seven. Don't panic.

    but Mother Nature's cycles allow people who do not believe in them to make laws and restrictions......
  • Angler ManagemntAngler Managemnt Posts: 1,077 Officer
    IMO based on studies - this is more than a cycle because there's dramatic changes in patterns in the currents that effected the Sargasso sea and the marge masses of Weed and "Stuff" that those currents carries also carried mahi with them. It'll be 20-30 years at least before we see any good mahi fishing here again. The Regs and laws wont really help much. This huge drop in mahi fishing here has been predicted for a while now.
  • p914p914 Posts: 517 Officer
    Commercial fishing takes the biggest chunk of this fast growing species and needs to have a close look at harvesting methods and #s.
    If people want to eat dolphin let em come down here to Florida and spend tourist dollars to get it or pay higher prices at the restaurant register.
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 868 Officer
    IMO based on studies - this is more than a cycle because there's dramatic changes in patterns in the currents that effected the Sargasso sea and the marge masses of Weed and "Stuff" that those currents carries also carried mahi with them. It'll be 20-30 years at least before we see any good mahi fishing here again. The Regs and laws wont really help much. This huge drop in mahi fishing here has been predicted for a while now.

    have you ever heard of a study where the end result was : ''Sorry we didn't find anything"??? go to any large fish market and see where that frozen box of dolphin filets came from....and the filets are all from breeder size fish..
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    based on studies - this is more than a cycle because there's dramatic changes in patterns in the currents that effected the Sargasso sea and the marge masses of Weed and "Stuff" that those currents carries also carried mahi with them. It'll be 20-30 years at least before we see any good mahi fishing here again.

    Can you please point me towards those studies Mike?

    It sounds like I have some reading to do.

    Thanks,
    Jim
  • Old Salt 27Old Salt 27 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    The commercial harvest of dolphin (mahi) was closed in Atlantic waters from July 2015 to the end of December 2015. Leaving more fish for recreational and charter boats.
    27' contender w/ twin 200hpdi
  • FLATS BROKEFLATS BROKE Posts: 2,060 Captain
    IMO based on studies - this is more than a cycle because there's dramatic changes in patterns in the currents that effected the Sargasso sea and the marge masses of Weed and "Stuff" that those currents carries also carried mahi with them. It'll be 20-30 years at least before we see any good mahi fishing here again. The Regs and laws wont really help much. This huge drop in mahi fishing here has been predicted for a while now.

    LOL....... this is a ridiculous statement :shrug
  • area52area52 Posts: 519 Officer
    IMO based on studies - this is more than a cycle because there's dramatic changes in patterns in the currents that effected the Sargasso sea and the marge masses of Weed and "Stuff" that those currents carries also carried mahi with them. It'll be 20-30 years at least before we see any good mahi fishing here again. The Regs and laws wont really help much. This huge drop in mahi fishing here has been predicted for a while now.

    I think your wrong here.
  • p914p914 Posts: 517 Officer
    The commercial harvest of dolphin (mahi) was closed in Atlantic waters from July 2015 to the end of December 2015. Leaving more fish for recreational and charter
    It takes longer than one year to recover from commercial overfishing. In reality it's most likely a combination of factors.
  • fredoramafredorama Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    The info at this site is tremendous. Tagging program, migration details broken down, and the monthly newsletters are very informative.
    http://dolphintagging.homestead.com/about.html

    The concerns
    noted about the lack of schoolies coming out of the gulf seems like a legit concern.
  • LOL....... this is a ridiculous statement :shrug

    I fully agree,

    Where did info like this come from?

    We have some significant overfishing going on in the Atlantic, but its not Mahi. Someone mentioned Skipjack. That stock is in great shape, but for how long? Fishing with Super Seiners off West Africa are taking a toll on all tuna species, YFT, Big Eye, and Skipjacks. We have seiners out there that regularly take 30 to 60 tons PER SET!

    Add to that fact, that Purse seiners are allowed up to 500 FADS. Not your anchored rec fad, there fads have radio location buoys and sonar. A seiner can log into a fad, and measure what size fish are under it an estimate how many tons of fish are in that school.

    As far as the dooms day predictions on dolphin, like stated here, in 2015 the comms caught so many the season was closed for them. That doesn't happen very often so obviously there are plenty of fish out there.

    I would really like to see that Sargasso sea study and try to understand the 20-30 year recovery issue and where that came from. I know of no 20 to 30 year cycles in ocean currents.

    There is a stronger argument that they are swimming deeper due to surface temps. Dolphin will feed as deep as 600'.

    BTW on the Sargasso sea, there is some push in the international community to provide some unique protection to the Sargasso sea as part of the ecosystem management approach
  • p914p914 Posts: 517 Officer
    Really cool site. Thanks for posting it.
  • p914p914 Posts: 517 Officer
    Really cool site. Thanks for posting it Fredorama
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    BTW on the Sargasso sea, there is some push in the international community to provide some unique protection to the Sargasso sea as part of the ecosystem management approach

    This has been cooking for a long time. I am aware of ssv Corwith Cramer looking into this as far back as the mid to late 1980's.
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    fredorama wrote: »


    Thanks for the link to the dolphin report. It was an interesting read.
  • beachside321beachside321 Posts: 371 Deckhand
    We crushed the dolphin out of Sebastian during March and April this year, then slow for pretty much the rest of the year. It literally shut off the first week of May. It was the best it has been in recent memory, I'm talking 15-20 years. Talking to some captains in the Keys this year they said the guys going to the other side of the stream did really well too in March. Also they had an epic dolphin season off of NC this year in April-June. My theory is they were mostly east of the stream until crossing over near Ft Pierce then making their way north.
  • tefird21tefird21 Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Im going to second what you said about the other side of the stream. We SLAUGHTERED the mahi this summer in the Bahamas, mostly in Exuma Sound and Harbor Island. There were some of those dream days when you find a school that seems to extend as far as the eye can see. And to be honest most of the mahi were nowhere near any weeds, they were just out in the open in 2000+ FOW, I would find them when chasing birds for tuna.
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