10 of the Greatest Dolphinfish Records of All Time
Overall, when it comes to game fish, few species are as charismatic and as sought after as the dolphinfish. They fight hard, look beautiful, take a variety of baits, lures, and flies, and are highly rated table fare. In short, they are the quintessential game fish and, as such, are one of the most popular species amongst recreational anglers on the planet.
Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), also called dolphin, mahi-mahi, and dorado, are cosmopolitan and found in tropical and warm temperate seas around the world. In this article, we highlight ten of the most impressive IGFA World Records ever set for the incredible dolphinfish, featuring unique insights and information from the catch documentation submitted to the IGFA with their applications.
Women’s 37-kg (80-lb) Dolphinfish Line Class Record
If you peruse the IGFA World Record Database or the IGFA World Record Game Fishes book, you will find that most of the largest dorado records have been caught off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This massive dolphinfish was caught off Cabo by Tera Allegri on August 16, 1993. The 37.5-kilogram (82-pound, 2-ounce) fish is the second largest dolphinfish ever caught by a female angler and currently holds the IGFA Women’s 37-kg (80-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. The record dorado ate a trolled green and yellow Sevenstrand trolling skirt and was brought to the gaff after a 20-minute battle.
Women’s 02-kg (4-lb) Dolphinfish Tippet Class World Record
14.74-kg (32-lb, 8-oz)
On April 2, 2006, multiple record holder and IGFA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jodie Johnson landed this 14.74-kilogram (32-pound, 8-ounce) dolphinfish to set the IGFA Women’s 2-kg (4-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. Jodie was fishing out of Cherokee Sound, Abaco, Bahamas, when this record fish took her fly. This fish was one of three IGFA Women’s Tippet Class Records for dolphinfish that she set during a one-week period.
Women’s 24-kg (50-lb) Dolphinfish Line Class World Record
34.01 kg (75-lb)
On November 30, 1997, Betty Ann Mehl landed this massive 34.01-kilogram (75-pound) dorado to set the IGFA Women’s 24-kg (50- lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Betty Ann was fishing off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when she caught the giant bull that stood taller than her during the weigh in. For reference, the fish pictured alongside Betty and her record catch is another 70-pound bull caught on the same day.
Women’s 10-kg (20-lb) Dolphinfish Tippet Class World Record
25-kg (55-lb 2-oz)
The renowned Tropic Star Lodge, located in Pinas Bay, Panama, has produced an incredible 43 IGFA World Record dorado, including this impressive fly-caught record from Nikki Wilson. On January 22, 2020, Wilson caught this 25-kilogram (55-pound 2-ounce) dolphinfish to set the Women’s 10-kg (20-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. She skillfully played the fish for 15 minutes before getting it boatside. Also pictured is the Cam Sigler popping fly that she used to catch this record fish.
Men’s 6-kg (12-lb) Dolphinfish Line Class World Record
34.98-kg (77 lb 2-oz)
Monte Green caught this giant 34.98-kilogram (77-pound, 2-ounce) dolphin on January 2, 1982, while fishing off Islamorada, Florida. Green was trolling a ballyhoo 10 miles off the coast with a light 12-pound trolling outfit intending to catch only a few small fish for dinner. Never would he have imagined hooking into this giant and earning the IGFA Men’s 6-kg (12- lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Green battled the fish for over 45 minutes, which certainly must have felt like an eternity!
Men’s 10 kg (20-lb) Dolphinfish Tippet Class World Record
26.08 kg (57-lb 8-oz)
Donald Childress was fly fishing on a panga out of Loreto, Mexico, on July 23, 1997, when he landed this 26.08-kilogram (57-pound 8-ounce) dorado, which is the second largest dorado record on fly and the IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-pound) Tippet Class World Record. Childress was drifting off the coast when a school of dolphinfish came in behind the boat. He had casted at two 15-pound fish before witnessing this record fish come in and take his fly. It took him over an hour to finally subdue the stubborn bruiser. It was not until they returned to shore and got a weight on the fish that he realized he had a potential IGFA record.
Men’s 1-kg (2-lb) Dolphinfish Line Class World Record
26.39-kg (58-lb 3-oz)
Catching a large dolphinfish is always an accomplishment when venturing offshore, but to do it with 1-kg (2-lb) test is extremely daunting and undeniably impressive. In 2004, IGFA Trustee and recipient of the coveted IGFA Bob Herder Light Tackle Award, Gary Carter, did just that with this beautiful 26.39-kilogram (58-pound 3-ounce) fish to set the IGFA Men’s 1-kg (2-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Carter landed this record dorado while pitch-baiting ballyhoo offshore of Tropic Star Lodge in Pinas Bay, Panama.
Male-Junior Dolphinfish World Record
Hunter James Keel, age 12, landed this enormous dolphinfish on August 31, 2020, to set the new IGFA Male Junior Record for the species. Keel’s fish weighed in at an impressive 29.48 kilograms (65 pounds) – breaking the previous record by nearly four pounds! The record mahi ate a trolled ballyhoo in the Washington Canyon off Maryland and put up a tough 20-minute fight.
Men’s 08-kg (16-lb) Dolphinfish Line Class World Record
29.25-kg (64-lb, 7-oz)
On December 20, 2003, Fernando Antonio Gomes Pedrosa landed this 29.25-kilogram (64-pound, 7-ounce) dolphinfish to set the IGFA Men’s 8-kg (16-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. He was fishing the 41st Torneio Anual de Peixes de Bico do Rio de Janeiro out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, when this bull dolphin ate his trolled ballyhoo. Fernando was able to land the massive fish after a 20-minute fight.
Men’s 03-kg (6-lb) Dolphinfish Line Class World Record
On May 26, 1984, Luis Battistini landed this 26.30-kilogram (58-pound) dolphinfish to set the IGFA Men’s 3-kg (6-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Luis was fishing in the Mona Passage off Mayaguez, Puerto Rico when this large bull ate his trolled ballyhoo. He fought the fish for one hour and 25 minutes before landing the record fish.