In Mexico, mahi-mahi are called dorado, or “the golden one.”
The fish are prized by sport anglers because of their acrobatics and quality of flesh, but also for their spectacular golden hues.
While feeding or fighting on the hook, dorado will often flash different variations of these, ranging from greenish yellow to brilliant gold (middle photo shows a normal-colored dorado).
But occasionally, though very infrequently, one will come up that does not look anything like the others, which Dave Maynard discovered recently while fishing off Rancho de Costa resort in southern Baja California (see top photo).
Maynard, host of Fish the Baja, was part of a group that caught 154 dorado in four days—presumably releasing most of them. A few of them were sky-blue.
“POWDER blue dorado … AMAZING colors!” tweeted Maynard.
Veteran Baja anglers expressed varying opinions on the rarity of blue dorado. (I personally have caught dozens of dorado, and have seen dozens more caught, and have never seen a blue specimen.)
Tracy Ehrenberg, who runs Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas, described the catch as rare.
Mark Rayor, who runs Jen Wren Sportfishing in Buena Vista on the Sea of Cortez, said: “They’re an odd fish and turn all sorts of colors. Once in a while we get a silver one that looks really cool.” (Rayor’s photo of a silver dorado is posted at right.)
Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas, also on the Sea of Cortez, said: “We have seen dorado have the ability to change their color shade, particularly when aggressively in the feeding mode.
“Once they have been caught and placed in the fish box, their color patterns normally return the darker green color. [The top photo], though, does appear to show a dorado that is much bluer than you would normally see, though not unprecedented.”
Not unprecedented, perhaps, but pretty as a picture.