This Month's Species- Bull Dophin
by Captain Steve Smith on 12/01/14
The Bull Dolphin or Mahi-Mahi is a beautiful fish found in the waters of the Caribbean and the Americas coast line.
The Bull Dolphin (Caryphaena hippurus), Dorado or Mahi-Mahi, as it’s also called, is the male of the species and has a blunt square head. Often referred to as “Dorado” for its beautiful gold, green and blue colorations, it is one of the ocean’s most beautifully colored fish and should not be confused with its smaller relative the Chicken Dolphin.
The Mahi-Mahi have compressed bodies with long dorsal fins. They are distinguished because of their range of beautiful colors: golden to blue to greens. The Bull dolphin is the larger of the dolphin species. They seldom exceed 90 lbs. Their natural habitat is offshore and rarely do they come near shore. They are considered surface feeders exclusively around 0 – 70- ft. of water.
They reach sexual maturity during their first year, typically by 5 months of age. The female Mahi-Mahi spawns 2 – 3 times per year and produce over 80,000 eggs. Their larvae can be found year-round in warm waters with a greater number in the spring and fall.
Bull dolphin is commonly caught around grass rips (long stretches of sargassum weed) where it feeds on shrimp and smaller fish.
We find dolphin in depths of 70 feet into 1,800 feet of water off the coast of Charleston. This dolphin is known for its spectacular frenzied leaps when hooked.