DOCK REPORT: Mahimahi Population Steady in Montauk; How Best to Catch Them

Captain John Aldridge and first mate Anthony Sosinski hold up fresh caught mahimahi.

Captain John Aldridge, left, and first mate Anthony Sosinski hold up fresh caught mahimahi.

Dock to Dish is happy to report a successful landing of yet another fully rebuilt and sustainable mid-Atlantic species, mahimahi, which we caught on rod-and-reel by two now legendary local fishermen, Captain John Aldridge and his first mate Anthony Sosinski .

The duo used a remarkable technique to find many bountiful schools of these fish in the deep water canyons off of Montauk and were delighted to discuss the details of their success when they returned. They were also excited to share some inside secrets about the movie now being made about their harrowing experience of survival last summer, while offering strong opinions on the two actors who have been rumored to be portraying them on the big screen.

Details about their secret mahimahi fishing techniques is below, and for a snapshot of the exciting Hollywood rumors that are once again whipping around the docks of Montauk click here.

As career lobster and crab fishermen, this team has a steady system of offshore trap setting and retrieval. Over the years, they have also come to learn the predictable behavior of mahimahi, which arrive offshore in late summer and stay throughout autumn.

These fish travel with the Gulf Stream and are strongly attracted to surface sargassum a healthy floating brown algae that serves as a hiding place and a source of food; many of the smaller fishes mahimahi eat also seek cover there.

To rebuild mahimahi populations, NOAA managers created strict management plans to protect sargassum as an essential fish habitat, and they enforce regulations that prohibit all commercial harvest and possession of sargassum in most areas of the United States.

In the typical good luck fashion of Aldridge and Sosinksi, to fish, a type of buoy looks very similar to sargassum.

“All we have to do is toss a strip of squid on a circle hook with a spinning rod when we pull up to the buoys,” says Sosinki “and bammo every time the line hit the water a mahi would race out from under the buoy and take the bait.”

“It was a lot more fun than just hauling traps like we do all winter,” adds Aldridge. “These are fast fish that put up a mighty fight when you are reeling them in, leaping out of the water and everything.”