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01 Dec

Day Of The Mahi…Prep The Day Before

Every year right about this time, a phenomenon takes place off the North Carolina Coast. It’s when all the important factors align pointing to great Mahi fishing. Some anglers get confused and fish without the knowledge of what those factors are and how they impact Mahi fishing. You can go 30 miles offshore on a hot day in July, look for floating Sargassum, and start trolling and you might catch a Mahi, or maybe a couple. Bring in the key factors I’m about to talk about and it can make a difference between night and day.

Start with prepping the night before. Since I commonly fish in the North Carolina area, I’ll use that as an example. First, I check a few sources that fill me in on the conditions, such as the water temps as well as the chlorophyll level. This information can be found in several online sources depending on your location. Next, I take that information and compare it to my maps that indicate the underwater structures. By going through these steps, I’ve created a plan for my day that tells me the best place to go that will likely produce the best chance of catching Mahi.

So Let’s Get Started

As I said earlier, I will start with finding out the water temps. After getting this information online, I consider various areas where the water temperature is 67 to 84 degrees, with the best being at 71 to 80 degrees. This is proven to be the range that Mahi follows and feeds in. Offshore and nearshore chlorophyll levels are the next thing that I look at. The higher the chlorophyll content, the better the conditions for the Mahi to be there. Understand that chlorophyll levels are constantly moving and changing, where it may be high at one location it could be low in another.

Next, I get the underwater map that gives me all the structures in the general area where I want to fish. I prefer to use the Maps Unique map. It covers both Carolinas and it’s perfect for my needs. I take this information and combine it with the water temps to see the overall picture that will impact my fishing. You should know that many Mahi anglers depend greatly on locating Sargassum floating on or near the surface, which is a good idea, but check for Sargassum that may possibly have died. This is pretty common. And if so, Mahi likely won’t be nearby.

So, What Does This All Mean?

For the avid offshore fisherman with a larger boat, the conditions are great for a big Mahi bite. Just follow these steps and start reeling. For the anglers in the smaller boats, like 21 to 24 feet, head out there and find the summer Mahi that are closer inshore. The water temp readings serve as a very good indication that they will be there. Please note the distances will vary depending on where you fish due to the impact of currents and your proximity to the Gulf Stream. Watch your weather and your fuel level and head out. Catch a cooler full.

About the Story Author

Captain Rod Biersted lives in Wilmington, NC. He is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable guides on the Carolina coast. He is best known for his skills when it comes to understanding the many complex factors of successful offshore fishing. He constantly shares this knowledge with new as well as the more skilled anglers in the way of seminars and one on one instruction. 

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