It was Mahi Madness in Tioman waters over the weekend during the maiden voyage of our brand new 40ft boat. From livies to lures– the Mahi were chompin'!
The Malay name for Mahi-Mahi is "belitong" but in other parts of the world, Mahi-Mahi are known as Dorado, meaning gold in Spanish, lampuka (lampuki, plural) in the Maltese language in the Meditteranean, or else simply Dolphin Fish... even though these fish are completely unrelated to cute Dolphins of the "Flipper" variety.
Mahi-Mahi is the name I usually stick with to avoid confusion and "huh? " moments onboard, and it's the term used throughout the Pacific. Mahi-Mahi means very strong in Hawaiian– appropriate, although speed and agility combined with some pretty impressive acrobatics are other characteristics that come to mind.
A few fast facts about Mahi-Mahi: They are fast growing fish but have a relatively short life-span of just 4 - 5 years. Males are larger than females with prominent “bulging" foreheads that make them easy to identify, and much more photogenic. (I have yet to see a female Dorado/Mahi-Mahi make the cover of a fishing magazine. These ladies definitely don’t qualify as supermodels in the eyes of magazine editors.)
Mahi-Mahi have striking colours that light-up like iridescent green and gold fireworks when the fish is charged with adrenaline during a fight. The current IGFA record for Mahi-Mahi is for a 39.91kg (88 lb) monster caught in Exuma in the Bahamas in 1998, but catches in Malaysian waters usually average about 3 - 6kgs (12 lbs).
Mahi-Mahi are migratory fish found in the blue open water of tropical and subtropical regions of the world at depths of up to 85 metres (279 ft)... but 37 metres (121 ft) is the usual depth they like to hang out at. They feed on mackerel, squid, and also zooplankton and crustaceans, and their speed makes them well-adapted to hunting flying fish.
Back in May, we experienced more spectacular Mahi action in Tioman, with about a dozen releases. There were many others jumping off the hook and just a few made it to the onboard sashimi block and bbq later on the beach at Pulau Tioman. The day started with 2 Bull Mahi on livies. Two Mahi bulls with no female escorts is an unusual occurrence as it's common knowledge that female Mahi are more often caught than males and that the ratio of males to females for Mahi is usually 1 male to about 50 females. So where were all the ladies back in May? And more importantly what does this catch say about our 2 male Mahi? Hmmm.