Angler Catches Record-Breaking Mahi Mahi…in Washington State

There’s a new state record for mahi mahi in Washington State—and it’s a whopper. Wade La Fontaine boated the 21-pound fish on an offshore trip off of Washington. It’s one of the biggest mahi mahi ever caught off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, a region not typically known for the warmwater species. 

La Fontaine was on a charter boat called Tunacious when he made the rare catch. The boat was targeting albacore by trolling a plastic squid spread 42 miles off the coast of southwest Washington. After he returned to dock, the 21 pound, 48-inch fish was weighed on a certified scale, and it easily topped the previous record—a 16-pounder boated in 2013.

“Without these charters [making the run offshore] day after day, I wouldn’t have had a chance to connect with this fish,” said La Fontaine. “I’m blessed beyond comprehension.”

Pacific Mahi mahi, also known as dorado, are typically caught near Southern California or the Baja Peninsula, not as far north as Washington State. That said, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, a handful of mahi mahi are caught by anglers targeting albacore in the open ocean near the Evergreen State each summer. 

“We’ve seen a few mahi landed in southwest Washington ports in recent years—with a handful last summer—but none this size, at least so far,” avid Washington angler and WDFW spokesman Chase Gunnel tells Field & Stream. “Makes you wonder what else is swimming in the bluewater off the Pacific Northwest these days!”

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La Fontaine’s is not the only notable mahi mahi caught in Washington this August. A man on an Articulated Guide Service outing recently caught a mahi mahi—on fly gear. In an Instagram post, guide Chance Clymer suggested that it might be the first ever fly-caught dorado in the state’s history. 


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